Alaska Legislature bans smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places

Six-year effort culminates on final day of legislative session; cities and boroughs may opt out

  • James Brooks/Juneau Empire Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna (left), receives a hug from Emily Nenon, Alaska government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. The action network was a major supporter of Senate Bill 63, and the pair were celebrating the passage of SB 63 on Saturday, May 12.

After six years of work, the Alaska Legislature on Saturday afternoon approved a statewide ban on smoking in most public places across Alaska.

Senate Bill 63 was approved by the Alaska House of Representatives in an 32-7 vote and after a procedural vote in the Senate is on its way to the desk of Gov. Bill Walker, who is expected to sign it.

“Considering what it’ll mean for health and public safety for working Alaskans, after a six-year struggle, it was worth it. Well worth it,” said Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna and the bill’s lead sponsor.

When signed into law, SB 63 will forbid smoking in bars, restaurants and most businesses statewide. Smoking will also be forbidden in buses, taxis and similar forms of public transportation.

About 50 percent of Alaska’s population lives in cities such as Bethel, Anchorage and Juneau that already ban public smoking; SB 63 will extend those bans into areas that have not already banned smoking.



Read the rest of this Juneau Empire story by clicking here.


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