Protect Local Control

Ensuring Community Rights
To Pass Smokefree Ordinances

News Summary

Here's how Alaska's statewide workplace smoking ban will work

Publication Date: 2018-05-15
  • Author:Matt Buxton
  • Publication:The Midnight Sun

As one of its final actions of the year, the Alaska Legislature approved a statewide ban on smoking that will affect most workplaces, including bars and restaurants. It also restricts smoking in some outdoor places.

Senate Bill 63 has been a long-in-the-works effort to more tightly limit employees' exposure to secondhand smoke. It was authored by Soldotna Sen. Peter Micciche and eventually more than half of all legislators signed on as cross-sponsors.

It passed the Senate 15-5 and the House 32-7. It now heads to Gov. Bill Walker, who's already praised its passage, to be signed into law...

Can communities opt out of the ban?

Yes. Thanks to a change made by House Rules Committee chair Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, R-Anchorage, municipalities and villages may opt out of the statewide smoke-free workplaces ban through a local election. Villages can also petition the lieutenant governor for a special election to opt out of the ban if 35 percent of registered voters sign onto a petition, which stays in place for two years.