Push for smoke-free workplaces appreciated

Thank you to Mayor Pat Porter for her support of Alaska Smoke-free Workplaces in your paper and on the radio. I agree with her that all employees deserve to breathe healthy air. And thank you to Senator Micciche and Representative Lindsey Holmes for introducing the bill in their respective bodies on our behalf.

I am having a little disconnect however when I see that in Senator Micciche’s newsletter it says that one of the changes will be, or might be, that municipalities could opt out of the “statewide” legislation. The point of a statewide law is just that! It’s statewide and protects the health of all employees around the state.

It’s a little like having a statewide speed limit, determined by safety standards and then having opt out provisions — or how about just letting each place decide the legal alcohol limit?

I’m hoping I misunderstood this new caveat. So many people have worked so hard on this health issue. More than 400 organizations and businesses support smoke-free workplaces. For the sake of full disclosure, I have to say that I will personally gain nothing from this legislation. As a cancer survivor and retired person, I can avoid this health threat. For me, it is enough that employment opportunities for my friends and neighbors won’t have to include breathing toxins as a part of their job description.