The Navajo Nation does not allow smoking indoors throughout the reservation
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (ABC4) – The Navajo Nation signed a law on Saturday that prohibits indoor smoking throughout the reservation.
The “Niłch ‘Éí Bee Ííná – The Air is the Life of 2021” law prohibits the use of tobacco products in enclosed indoor workplaces or public places, and within 25 feet of any indoor area. The law defines commercial tobacco products as conventional cigarettes, pipes, cigars, electronic cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco products.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer signed the law.
“The Air is Life Act is a monumental achievement and a bold step in the right direction to promote a healthy lifestyle among our Navajo people,” said President Jonathan Nez, who also thanked the 24th Navajo Nation Council for its support for legislation. “Second-hand smoke can cause health problems in non-smokers, such as children and the elderly. Public health professionals have concluded that the only way to protect non-smokers and vulnerable populations from second-hand smoke is to demand smoke-free workplaces and public places. It is a fundamental right to protect the right of our Navajo people to breathe clean air.
The law does not prohibit the use of tobacco in private residences, unless it is a child or adult day care center, a health facility or a home office. Tobacco use is also still permitted for ceremonial or cultural purposes within the Navajo Nation.
The Air is Life Coalition has been at the forefront of educating the public about the dangers of smoking for over 13 years and is proud to work with Navajo Nation officials to pass this smoke-free bill.
“The health of our people is important to our future as the country’s greatest sovereign nation,” said President Seth Damon (Bááhaalí, Chichiltah, Manuelito, Red Rock, Rock Springs, Tséyatoh). “Our health studies show through data that you live a shorter life with every cigarette you light or the second-hand smoke you inhale. This resolution ensures that we will end it in our public places and tribal office buildings for the safety of all. The Council of the Navajo Nation congratulates President Daniel Tso for his leadership as sponsor of this bill and we applaud President Jonathan Nez for working with us to make history today.