Bill includes important ban on e-cigarettes in the workplace

My name is Jackson Blackwell and I am a Junior at Soldotna High School. Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 328, also known as the “take it outside” acts protect the health and safety of all Alaskans. These bills would simply ask individuals to not smoke inside of public workplaces. Being teenagers myself and my friends are all looking to get jobs so we can start making money to pay for college. Unfortunately, not all of us have the choice to chose between a pay check and the right to breathe clean air. When we are exposed to second hand smoke we can be subject to a number of health problems down the road. Second hand smoke is a major cause of preventable death and illnesses including lung cancer, heart disease, respiratory infections and asthma. Another thing that this bill incorporates, which is crucial to the protection of young people; is the inclusion of the ban of the use E-cigarettes in work places. Since my freshman year, I have seen E-cigarettes and vape go from being non-existant to now being used in school bathrooms and classrooms frequently. Unfortunately, there is a false notion out among teens that there is no harm that comes from these devices. According to the CDC The use of E-cigarettes among middle and high school age students tripled from 2013 to 2014. If we send this bill to the floor and it later goes to the governor we can stop this epidemic. I know we are all fully well aware of the State’s current fiscal crisis and luckily Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 328 will save the state money in costs directly related to Medicaid and increased work productivity. An overwhelming 69 percent of Alaskans support these bills and I hope that you too will support this money and life saving measure by passing these bills.

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