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IHS Public Health
WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA - Ben Shelly, president of the Navajo Nation, began a campaign to ban non-ceremonial tobacco use in public places on the Navajo Nation. His historic efforts have paid off: He will receive the Indian Health Service, IHS Director's Special Recognition Award for Public Health Leadership at a ceremony on June 29, 2011 in Washington DC.
"We are protecting the health of the Navajo people by working to ban commercial tobacco use in public areas on the Navajo Nation and protect workers from exposure to second hand smoke," stated President Shelly. "This is an important issue many states and tribal nations are facing right now. The Shelly-Jim Administration is focusing on commercial tobacco free legislation to present to the Navajo Nation Council."
On June 8, 2011 the director of IHS, Dr. Yvette Roubideaux announced the award for President Shelly during a listening session with the Navajo Nation Division of Health and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service in Window Rock at the museum.
In May President Shelly also accepted a 2011 Smokefree Gaming Award at the National Smokefree Gaming Symposium in Las Vegas, Nevada for the same efforts.
The upcoming commercial tobacco free legislation will not restrict the fundamental traditional ceremony use of tobacco.
posted June 15, 2011 8:57 am et
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