Contributed by Noel Crowley-Bell, Alaska Family Services’ Tobacco Prevention & Control Program
As daylight overtakes the darkness, my children and I look forward to the many activities available to families throughout the Mat-Su Borough. My children and I experienced one of our favorites, Wasilla’s Fourth of July Parade, in a new way by actually walking the parade route handing out treats and enjoying the fantastic weather. I realized how clean the air was. It’s a subtle thing to reawaken to something we take for granted; smelling the clover growing, the occasional cleanup from one of the farm animals and then to realize, we should enjoy this at all outdoor events!
Even more than parades, my children and I look forward to the Alaska State Fair. Questions such as, “When’s the Fair? How many months til the Fair?” begin in January at my home. The biggest event I’ll be looking forward to this year is a Smoke Free Alaska State Fair.
Our Alaska State Fair has chosen to stand by the irrefutable science that second hand smoke is not just inconvenient or smelly; it’s deadly and affects the health of those who are exposed to it. In addition the fair is honoring the nearly 80% of its attendees as well as 80% residents of the Mat-Su Borough are smoke free. The fair is ensuring that all participants, especially our children experience a safe, healthy, smoke and aerosol free environment.
As I bring my thoughts to a close, I do want to say if you are a smoker, I want you to enjoy the fair with me! Plan ahead for a nicotine free day by taking advantage of nicotine replacements available to help curb the crave. Alaska’s Tobacco Quit Line offers nicotine replacement therapies –patches, gum and lozenges online and free of charge. Visit alaskaquitline.com for a free starter pack of nicotine replacement to help quit for your fair day and or for life!
Congratulations and thank you fair board and staff for taking this step to provide a smoke and aerosol free event for all of us to enjoy!
Noel Crowley-Bell, Coordinator
Alaska Family Services’ Tobacco Prevention and Control Program