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Alaska Smokefree Workplace Law  

Alaska's Smokefree Workplace Law

On Tuesday, July 17, 2018, Gov. Bill Walker signed into law the Smokefree Alaska bill, SB63, that prohibits smoking in enclosed public places and workplaces, including buses and taxis, stores, bars and restaurants.. The law is now recorded in Alaska Statute as AS 18.35.301. Many organizations worked together over a number of years to support the law’s passage: the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Lung Association in Alaska, the American Heart Association, AARP, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, among other groups and individuals.

Why this law is necessary

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) supports smokefree policies as a population-based best practice that protects the public from secondhand smoke to improve public health. Reducing secondhand smoke can lower the risk for a number of serious illnesses, including stroke, heart disease, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), low birth weight and lung cancer. It can save the expense of health care dollars for medical care and hospital admissions, as well as save businesses the cost of lost productivity. Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at work are more likely to develop heart disease, lung cancer or other diseases.

Secondhand smoke is defined in two categories:

  1. Secondhand smoke is smoke from burning cigarettes, cigars and pipes, as well as smoke exhaled by the person smoking.
  2. Secondhand aerosol is the exhaled vapor from electronic smoking devices such as e-cigarettes, vape pens/personal vaporizers and e-hookah.

How does the law define smoking?

Smoking means using any of the following:

  • Cigarettes
  • E-cigarettes
  • Cigars and pipes
  • Other oral smoking devices that contain tobacco or marijuana.

Where smoking is not allowed

Beginning Monday, October 1, 2018, smoking and vaping is not allowed in enclosed public places and places of employment. “Place of employment” means work areas, private offices, hotel and motel rooms, employee lounges, restrooms, conference rooms, classrooms, cafeterias, hallways, vehicles, and other employee work areas that are under the control of an employer.

No-smoking signs must be posted, indoor ashtrays and other smoking accessories will disappear, and customers and employees who have been allowed to smoke inside will be asked to take it outside. Signs must be visible from the outside of each entrance.

Signs are available for download now, so you can print and post. There will be hard copies that can be ordered after October 1, 2018. Check back after that date.

Where smoking is allowed

Smoking or vaping is allowed in private residences and personal vehicles, in a business vehicle if it’s allowed by the owner or employer and used exclusively by only one person, and other outdoor areas specifically identified as allowing smoking.