Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Native American Caucus commends the Hopi Nation for leading the smoke-free movement

Native American Caucus commends the Hopi Nation for leading the smoke-free movement

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Today, the House of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution proposed by the Native American Caucus recognizing the Hopi Nation’s role in pioneering the smoke-free movement in hospitals and workplaces.

“The banning of smoking in public places has played an important role in keeping our communities healthy,” said Rep. Albert Hale, D-St. Michaels (District 7). “The people of the Hopi Nation set the foundation for the national smoke-free movement by banning smoking in the Keams Canyon Hospital.”

In October 1983, Dr. Leland L. Fairbanks of the United States Public Health Services, with the help of Rice Leach of the Phoenix Indian Medical Center and Charles Q. North of Keams Canyon, Ariz., encouraged the Hopi Tribal Council and the Hospital Board Executive Committee of the Hopi Nation’s Keams Canyon Indian Health Service Hospital to ban smoking at the Keams Canyon IHS Hospital. This was the first health institution in the country to enact this ban. The Native American Caucus introduced HCR 2006 to recognize the leadership of the Hopi Nation who worked toward smoke-free hospitals.

Additionally, Hale recognized the significance that the smoking ban has had in the community.

“Because of this ban, entire generations of nurses, hospital staff and patients have now been free from exposure to secondhand smoke in hospitals. All members of the Native American Caucus believe this historic achievement is commendable,” said Hale.

Since the implementation of the smoking ban in 1983, the smoke-free movement has spread to public spaces such as bars, restaurants and workplaces.

The Native American Caucus would like to encourage people to get involved in the legislative process and to make sure their voices are heard. To receive a registration form for a Request to Speak System account, please email Melissa Upshaw at mupshaw@azleg.gov or call the office of Rep. Hale at 602-926-4323. Once your account is created, you will receive the Request to Speak System Manual by email and you can comment on bills being heard in committees through your online access by going to www.azleg.gov and clicking the Request to Speak System link.


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