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.
Thanks to #akleg for passing SB 63, & congrats to sponsor @SenatorMicciche. Ending smoking in workplaces & public areas gives Alaskans the freedom to breathe easy, so no one has to choose between their health and their livelihood. #saferalaska
— Governor Bill Walker (@AkGovBillWalker) May 13, 2018