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Navajo Nation Council to consider bill banning tobacco use in public spaces

GALLUP — The Navajo Nation Council will consider legislation to ban commercial tobacco product use in public and workplaces during the fall session, which starts on Monday, Oct. 18.

The “Nilch’ éí Bee Ííná – Air is Life Act 2021” prohibits the behavior, including at the tribe’s casinos, but does not restrict using tobacco products inside homes or the use of ceremonial tobacco.

Similar proposals calling for smoke-free policies – some as early as 2008 – have gone to tribal lawmakers but fell flat.

In 2011, delegates failed to override then President Ben Shelly’s veto of a measure that would have prohibited smoking and using chewing tobacco in public spaces except at the tribe’s casinos.

The tribe in 2014 saw dozens of chapters approve resolutions that prohibited smoking in public and at workplaces located within the chapters’ boundaries.

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