Oglala Sioux Tribe bans e-cigarettes on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Oglala Sioux ban e-cigarettes on Pine Ridge Reservation

For further information and complete details, contact Terra Houska Tobacco Educator, Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board, or Julian Bear Runner, President Oglala Sioux Tribe.

From Associated Press HERE

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council has banned the sale, possession and use of e-cigarettes on the Pine Ridge Reservation amid a nationwide outbreak of vaping-related illnesses.

The tribal council approved the ban last week, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported Monday.  The maximum penalty for violating the ordinance is a fine fo $250 or 30 days in jail.

“The health of our people, including our youth, is of the utmost importance and our tribe has always strived to take a leading role in addressing the health issues of our people,” the ordinance states.

There have been six confirmed cases of vaping-related illnesses in South Dakota, according to the South Dakota Department of Health, and over 800 across the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with 12 confirmed deaths in other states.

The CDC says most of the patients reported using products containing THC, the chemical that produces marijuana’s high, or both THC-containing products and nicotine-containing products.  Some patients reported using only nicotine-containing products.  The CDC recommends refraining from vaping products, particularly those containing THC, while the investigation is ongoing, and against buying these products off the street.

Tribal President Julian Bear Runner heralded the vaping ban as a “bold action” and used the occasion to call for further action to regulate all forms of tobacco and nicotine on the reservation.

“In the near future it would empower us to adopt additional legislation related to the cultivation and sale of all forms of tobacco and nicotine, as those industries have profited from our misery since we can remember,” Bear Runner said in a statement.  “It is to our benefit to authorize only tobacco the Oglala Sioux Tribe has sanctioned.”

The Pine Ridge Reservation has a population of roughly 20,000 in southwestern South Dakota.

Information from:  Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com.


From KOTA TV – Territory ABC


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.


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