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Smoking ban at parks, pools is a good idea

August 29, 2013

When all is said and done, the primary purpose of a public park is exercise and fresh air. So we support the Hagerstown City Council’s move to ban smoking in these green environs.

It’s true that smokers must feel like an endangered species, roped in ever-tightening corners. But when people visit a park, they should not be subjected to clouds of smoke.

Secondhand smoke is a proven carcinogen, which basically defeats the purpose of venturing outdoors in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 49,000 people die each year from what is believed to be residual cigarette smoke.

But beyond that, people who go to a park expect it to be clean and fresh. There are different tolerances for smoke. Some aren’t bothered, but others find it offensive and suffer from smoke-induced reactions.

Throughout the country, smoking has been largely banned from public buildings and venues. One day, perhaps, smoking will go the way of tobacco chewing and stovepipe hats. 

But until that time, those who find smoking to be offensive should be protected from the bad habits of others. So we applaud the City of Hagerstown’s willingness to exclude smoking from local greenways.

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