BLACK HILLS, S.D. (KOTA TV) – With overwhelming evidence supporting the negative health effects of smoking and secondhand smoke, the impacts of vaping is still being researched.”I think that we’re going to see diseases or illnesses that we’ve never seen before and I personally have gone through cancer to where I have been through the treatment, I’ve done radiation twice, and so I would never wish that on anybody,” said Terra Houska, Health Educator for the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board.
As a member of the Oglala Sioux tribe herself, vaping was recently banned on the Pine Ridge Reservation, one of the first tribal nations to do so.
“I really think it’s going to encourage the other tribes and that’s why I’m just so proud of Julian and all the tribal council for doing this and understanding that this is important for our people,” Houska said.
The VA Black Hills Health Care System also joined 140 other VA facilities in adopting a smoke-free policy, focused on health and wellness.
“We know that breaking free from tobacco use is just one of those ways that we can provide a greater wellbeing for our veterans, and so we want to ensure that if this is the choice, this may be a great opportunity for veterans to say okay this is the time that I want to do it, I want to quit using tobacco and we’ve got so many resources that are available to them,” said Teresa Forbes, Public Affairs Officer for VA Black Hills Health Care System.
With six cases of vaping related-illnesses in South Dakota and more than 800 cases nationwide, more and more places are banning tobacco and vape products.
“Every day is a new day, this can be your day to live tobacco free and smoke free, and you’ll just never know the instant benefits you may receive,” Forbes said.