Alaska Senate Okays Smoking Ban

The bill is now before the House.

April 01, 2016

JUNEAU, Alaska – Alaska moved closer to becoming the 31st state to prohibit smoking in public places with the Senate’s approval of a measure that would forbid smoking e-cigarettes or tobacco within enclosed public spaces, KTUU-TV reports.

Sponsored by Sen. Peter Micciche, the bill didn’t garner unanimous support. “I think the bill goes a little too far in dealing with private business,” said Sen. Mike Dunleavy for why he voted against it. “If you have a private business, small business, and one of the reasons people go there is to gather together and smoke, I think they should be able to.”

During the bill’s committee time, owners of e-cigarette shops expressed their opposition. “Vaping in stores is what makes the business,” wrote Kenneth Martin to legislators. “It's like test driving a car before the purchase.”

The measure now goes to the House for approval before hitting Gov. Bill Walker’s desk.