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Community Spotlight


2018 Breath Easy banner for the Anchorage U-Med district celebrating Smoke and Tobacco-Free campusesMay 2018 -
Anchorage’s “University-Medical District” Celebrates Their Smokefree and Tobacco-Free Policies on Kick Butts Day

On March 21, 2018, Anchorage’s University Medical District (U-Med District) celebrated the nationally-recognized Kick Butts Day by highlighting their Smokefree and Tobacco-Free Campuses. Interactive and educational events were held at UAA, ANTHC and APU, and Southcentral Foundation held an event the week prior.  Each of these organizations have successfully implemented smokefree and tobacco-free campus policies to encourage healthier workplaces and promote a smokefree and tobacco-free Alaska​... 



Two high school boys sitting in front of their lockers.

December 2017 - TOBACCO-FREE SCHOOLS - An effective policy to protect Alaska’s Youth

Currently of the 54 school districts in Alaska only 42 have comprehensive tobacco-fee school district policies in place. The TPC Program grantees work in their communities with school administrators, teachers, students, and community members to address concerns that may affect a successful policy implementation. Challenges are opportunities in disguise, and recognizing each school’s unique cultural, social, and geographic environment and maximizing the strengths of each, are ‘protective” factors in helping to reduce youth tobacco initiation.


Sheila Hurst Tobacco-Free Alaska Grantee teaching in elementary school classroom​​September 2017 -
Listening and Steady Presence = Successful Outcomes

Gaining and maintaining trust with Alaska Native local policy makers and key stakeholders has been one of the key components that have contributed to Copper River Native Association’s (CRNA) tobacco prevention and control program’s success. Sheila takes time to engage and learn from their stories, learning about the unique events that have shaped the lives and communities where she works.


Alaska Smokefree HousingApril 2017 - Alaska Smokefree Housing applauds HUD final rule to implement smokefree public housing nationwide

In 2007 Alaska’s Tobacco Prevention and Control program and the Alaska Tobacco Control Alliance, bolstered by a national trend and its partners, formed the Alaska Smokefree Housing Partnership (ASHP). Housing authorities and commercial property owners/managers were provided smokefree policy resources and given support during implementation. 

Influenced by this national movement, in 2016 the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a smokefree requirement - in buildings and within 25 feet of entrances - for all public housing authorities they fund, which will take effect in 2018.


Performers in Genlaaghe' in 2017February 2017 - Genlaaghe’: A Play in one Act

This year Frank Yaska, a Tobacco Prevention Specialist who worked at Tanana Chief’s Conference (TCC) for over ten years, is holding theater camps in six villages across the Interior that provides tobacco prevention education through public speaking, traditional Athabascan song, and improvisation. The camps culminate in the performance of a play, written and directed by Frank and creatively interpreted by the youth called “Genlaaghe’,” Athabascan for “not good for you.” It depicts the peer pressure that many Alaska Native youth feel around tobacco use.


Tackle Tobacco like a Barrow WhalerJanuary 2017 - Barrow Whalers Tackle Tobacco

“We taught our football players that putting tobacco in your body will limit their athletic ability to do their best on the field. Also, we want our players to be a role model in the community.” said Chris Battle, head football coach for the Barrow Whaler Football Team.

This message caught on and the football team is just the first of the Tobacco Champions of Barrow High School.




Kake, Alaska adopts a historic tobacco-free trbal resolution - Tobacco-Free Alaska Community Spotlight for December 2016December 2016 - Kake, Alaska: Historic Action for Health

Kake, Alaska, a Tlingit village of 620 residents with a fishing, logging, and subsistence lifestyle, has become part of the most progressive and protective health revolution in the state. In April 2016, the Organized Village of Kake (OVK) adopted a tobacco-free tribal resolution, which includes electronic cigarettes.


Wrangell Senior Apartments Go Smokefree!November 2016 - Wrangell Senior Apartments Go Smokefree

On August 1st, 2016, the board of directors of Wrangell Senior Apartments implemented a comprehensive smokefree housing policy –one that includes electronic nicotine devices – in order to protect a large majority of Wrangell’s senior citizens from exposure to the poisons in secondhand smoke.


Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation Partner for Cessation - Tobacco-Free Alaska Community Spotlight for October 2016October 2016 - Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation Raises the Bar on Tobacco Prevention

YKHC partners with Alaska’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Program and starts several efforts to prevent tobacco use and promote tobacco cessation.

"The Yukon-Kuskokwim region in Southwest Alaska is one of the largest geographic regions in the state that faces challenges related to traveling from community to community due to difficult weather, the lack of roads and cost for airfare. The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC), headquartered in Bethel, is striving to overcome those challenges and implement key efforts to reduce or eliminate the leading cause of death and disease in Alaska – tobacco use."

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Bethel - Tobacco-Free Alaska Community Spotlight for February 2015April 2015 - ATCA Youth Leaders

"A group of ATCA youth leaders traveled to Juneau earlier this year
to show their passion for tobacco prevention."


Rebecca Fisher TCC - Tobacco-Free Alaska Community Spotlight for March 2015March 2015 - Rebecca Fisher

"This past September TCC adopted tobacco-free campus policy, making all TCC business offices and rural properties a safe place for people to breathe smoke-free air. Learn more about their initiative and success."


Bethel - Tobacco-Free Alaska Community Spotlight for February 2015February 2015 - Bethel, Alaska

"Forty out of 56 federally recognized tribes in the YK Delta have signed smokefree or tobacco-free resolutions. Learn how YKHC is creating this momentum."