Commercial Tobacco Banned on Navajo Reservation

The Navajo Nation Council has banned commercial tobacco in public places on the reservation — including such outdoor venues as rodeos and fairs.

The measure bans cigarettes and chewing tobacco — but not tobacco used in ceremonies for traditional or religious purposes — on the reservation across parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The reservation is about the size of West Virginia.

Violators could be fined $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense and $500 for the third offense or possible community service.

Thomas Walker Jr., who sponsored the legislation, says council delegates approved the measure Friday evening on a vote of 42-27.