NOME, ALASKA-Nome's smoking ban took effect yesterday, making the city another of the approximately 10 smoke-free communities around the state of Alaska.
In a May month vote, the Nome City Council voted 4-1 to prohibit smoking in all public places.
The new no smoking law includes making a 20 foot smoke free zone around all public areas. This also includes public vehicles such as taxi cabs, and public areas such as ball fields. The cost of disobeying the new law is a $100 fine for all first offences.
The new law will no doubt cut down on litter in the form of cigarette butts and wrappers, increase work activity, and reduce health care costs for smokers and non-smokers alike. It may well encourage more smokers to give up the habit as more places are made unavailable to practice their habit.
Palmer is also contemplating a smoking ban. It will be the first community to do so in the Mat-Su Valley.
Nome is a major hub for the Northwest region of Alaska. The city is situated on the Southern shore of the Seward Peninsula, and is home to approximately 3,600 people. The community is also the finish line for the famous Iditarod Sled Dog Race held every year.