As we previously reported this week, anti-smoking bills in both the Alaskan House and Senate have received new attention from both opponents and supporters.
This week Senate Bill 209 and House Bill 360 added new cosponsors. Both bills have to do with banning the smoking of cigarettes and e-cigarettes within a certain distance of any place of employment, public place, or private club.
Soldotna Mayor and Local Doctor, Nels Anderson said that he supports its inclusion of the e-cigarettes but has not fully read the bill.
Anderson: “I don’t think in the long run when we get the data in that they will be substantially different than regular cigarettes. Now might I be proven wrong in the long run, yeah I could be, but I think that with the limited amount of information that we have now, at least what I’ve read suggests that they really aren’t substantially different in terms of risks to the patients.”
He also mentioned that Kenai Mayor Pat Porter contacted him this week about it.
Anderson: “Mayor Porter was very much in support of the bill and what she asked me to do basically is that if the bill does not pass that we could do something perhaps jointly between the two cities to try and put in the intent of the bill in the local area.”
SB 209 is scheduled for State Affairs Standing Committee on Thursday April 3 at 9 am and HB 360 was heard and held this week by the Health and Social Services Standing Committee.