Alaska has a slightly above national average rate of high school smoking and an above average rate of adult smoking. Historically, Alaska has had one of the lowest High School smoking rates, this is likely in part due to the the state’s dedication to tobacco prevention, which is shown by their dedication to spend above the CDC recommended amount on tobacco prevention: 102.2%. The state also has a $2.00 tax per pack of cigarettes. However, smoking still costs the state $438 million in health care annually. State law contains no preemption language regarding youth access to tobacco, and the state has had success at the local level in enacting indoor smoking bans. This means Alaska is a strong candidate for grassroots campaigns in support of raising the sales age of tobacco to 21. For more information you may contact:

Eric Brodell
Western Region Director
Tobacco 21

Doug Osborne
Sitka Community Hospital
Director of Health Promotion


or visit our sources:

Tobacco Free Kids Alaska: “The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. Our vision: A future free of the death and disease caused by tobacco.”

American Lung Association State Report Card: “The ALA ‘State of Tobacco Control’ report tracks progress on key tobacco control policies at the state and federal levels, and assigns grades based on tobacco control laws and regulations in effect as of January 2, 2014.”

SLATI State Information Alaska: “SLATI (State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues) is an extensively researched and invaluable source of information on tobacco control laws and policy, and is the only up-to-date and comprehensive summary of state tobacco control laws.”

The Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation and the Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids support these four principles for Tobacco 21 ordinances:

1) Include all tobacco and nicotine products, specifically e-cigarettes. The only exceptions would be FDA recognized nicotine replacement products (gum, patch, etc.) intended for cessation.
2) Include significant enforcement provisions against illegal sales as research shows that consistent enforcement is of critical importance.
3) Not include any pre-emption against local authority in more stringent regulation of tobacco or other nicotine product sales, secondhand smoke, or e-cigarette vapor.
4) Ideally not include possession, usage, or purchase (PUP) penalties that result in criminal records, and instead place the onus on the purveyors of these addictive products.

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