EDITORIAL: Butts out | Cigarettes Blog

Sunday, July 10, 2011

EDITORIAL: Butts out

If the Township Council adopts the ordinance, Pequannock will be one of the latest locales to ban smoking in public parks. But the township ban would only extend to parks that include either playgrounds or ball fields.

We laud town leaders for working towards eradicating smoking where children play, but we are concerned by the narrow scope of the rule. Secondhand smoke is bad for everyone, from babies to retirees. The concern for the 18-and-under set is admirable. The lack of concern for anyone else is puzzling.

Clifton, Seaside Park and all of Union County have banned smoking in public parks; so have nearly 500 other cities, counties and towns across America. . . .

For smokers, this feels like an infringement on individual rights. But smoking endangers the lives of everyone around. Secondhand smoke can lower children's ability to fight off illness, and increases the incidences of bronchitis and pneumonia. It also causes heart disease and lung cancer in adults.

Smoking should not be banned in some of Pequannock's parks; it should be banned in all of them.

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