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Grand Camp supports statewide smoke-free workplaces

October 15 2014

JUNEAU – The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) would like to commend the delegates at the 2014 Alaska Native Brotherhood/Alaska Native Sisterhood Grand Camp for unanimously passing a resolution in support of statewide smoke-free workplaces to protect Alaska Native people from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

The resolution was brought to the floor by Petersburg’s ANS President Brenda Louise and passed by the Grand Camp delegates on October 11, 2014. It expands support for smoke-free workplaces from a regional to a state-wide level. ANB/ANS Grand Camp has taken the lead in smoke-free facilities, passing resolutions for smoke-free ANB/ANS Halls in 2003 and 2007.

Alaska Native people’s tobacco use is at 45.1%, among the highest in the nation. Chronic cigarette smoking and spit tobacco use causes heart disease, the leading cause of death for Alaska Natives, and lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death among American Indian/Alaska Natives, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Edy Rodewald, SEARHC Tobacco Health Educator says, “Adopting smoke-free or tobacco-free policies and higher tobacco taxes are proven tools to prevent Alaska Native youth from starting to use tobacco and help support those who want to quit. SEARHC is proud to support this effort and is grateful for the commitment of the Grand Camp’s Alaska Native Brotherhood/Alaska Native Sisterhood.”

The momentum is growing. To date, 114 Alaska Tribes have passed such resolutions for their workplaces.

For information about the SEARHC Tobacco Program, contact Edy Rodewald at 907-364-4452 or email her at erode@searhc.org

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