As Chief Executive Officer of Peninsula Community Health Services of Alaska (PCHS), one of my responsibilities is to ensure that our organization establishes workplace policies that protect the health of both our employees and our clients. For that reason, PCHS has a 100 percent tobacco-free campus policy, including e-cigarettes and other electronic vaping systems. Unfortunately, not all Alaska workers are protected from the dangers of secondhand smoke and secondhand aerosol in the workplace.
Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 328 seek to safeguard Alaskans from the health hazards of exposure to the chemicals in secondhand smoke, as well as the hazardous emissions from e-cigarettes and other electronic smoking devices. These bills extend smoke free air protections to those boroughs in Alaska that do not have the ability to adopt their own smoke free laws.
Passing Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 328 will save lives and save money and could potentially reduce the $67 million that is spent each year in Alaska on Medicaid expenditures attributed to smoking.
Everyone deserves to breathe smoke free air on the job. It is time for Alaska’s lawmakers to act!
Monica Adams, CEO