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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : letters November 25, 2015

4/3/2014 1:36:00 PM
Letter: Cottonwood needs tobacco-free policy for city parks


Our city parks were created as a healthy place for us to experience nature and engage in healthy activities. We'd like to see our parks become healthier by making them tobacco free. The 2010 Surgeon General's report on secondhand smoke concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. A tobacco-free policy for Cottonwood city parks would protect all residents from secondhand smoke.

On several occasions this year, local youth from Yavapai Anti-Tobacco Coalition of Youth or Y.A.T.C.Y. collected tobacco litter from both Garrison and River Front Parks to raise awareness. We have also reached out to community members for support, traveled to the State Capitol and talked with our legislators, and conducted community surveys showing local support for tobacco-free parks. Cigarettes are the most littered item in the U.S. and take 5-10 years to decompose. Infants and children often ingest discarded cigarettes which can cause numerous health problems.

We all deserve the right to breathe clean air especially in our community parks and playgrounds.

Summer Scott, President, N.J.H.S. and Y.A.T.C.Y.

Cottonwood Middle School

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, April 6, 2014
Article comment by: old town resident

Sorry, yes, I'm a smoker. Cigarettes can cause disease and damaging fires. So I'm very circumspect about it. I don't smoke around people without their permission, NEVER around children, and always dispose of my habit properly. I don't like seeing butts around anywhere either! So yes, lets prohibit smoking some more. And by the way, whats with these people walking around with 88 oz soda drinks?? Lets ban fattening foods from our parks too!!

Posted: Sunday, April 6, 2014
Article comment by: Gary Dean

Why are so many so quick to tell someone else how to live their life? If you want to smoke, go ahead. Just don't make me have to breathe your second hand smoke. If you don't smoke, stay away from those that do. Have respect- look that up in a dictionary- for others. IF there was more respect in this world, it would be a damn site better place to live.

Posted: Saturday, April 5, 2014
Article comment by: get real

i dont smoke and never will, but i do value the idea of freedom and hate that we have to regulate it out of existance, yet still sing of it at every 4th of july...maybe just to remember what it once was to be American?

Posted: Saturday, April 5, 2014
Article comment by: C S

Charlie Glisson,oh please, and it's seems to me, let me guess you are all smokers.

Posted: Saturday, April 5, 2014
Article comment by: Russ Mendenhall

I am a smoker. I agree that smoking is a bad habit. There is alot hip over smokings. There is alot of polution in world . But when gets cancer it is
always blamed on smoking wither it caused by smoking or not. company found out they can save
alot of money by blameing smoking . Also since no wants to pay taxes . Just let smokers pay for their pet causes. What happens when smokers quit smokeing. If there butt or mething placed in the parks there would less buts to pickup. It always amazed me stand next to bond fire or sit close to fire place & think its great. Even though it put off the same gas as a cigerette. Also smokers are not all hipped up like non smokers.

Posted: Saturday, April 5, 2014
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Yellow teeth,black lungs,COPD and breathing
treatments,bad breath,heart disease etc
Live free and die by your own hand.Buy a pistal.

Posted: Saturday, April 5, 2014
Article comment by: History Lesson

Here is a quick history lesson. The Nazi Youth camps went to parents and youth and made it attractive to follow the ideals and political agenda for the Nazi Party. This anti-smoking in the park agenda was started by a visit to the N.J.H.S. at CMS, which got the kids on board to go to the park and pick up butts to throw in front of the city council. I just wonder if gloves and proper safety equipment were used so these children were not exposed to disease?

Native Americans used tobacco for medical purposes. Then Europeans found that it had properties that were great for recreational use. Now we find that it causes diseases and injuries from long term use and most want to do an outright ban.

Now marijuana is being excepted as medicine and most just want to legalize it. So what's worse using children for political agendas, smoke from tobacco, litter from butts or the open use of marijuana that causes smoke and litter as well? Well history will repeat it's self. I remember my last visit to a beach in San Diego, I did not see cigarette butts on the ground, however the marijuana "roaches were an inch thick in the gutters and on the curbs.

Posted: Saturday, April 5, 2014
Article comment by: Frank Henry

The Arizona Non-Smoking Act passed around
2007 allows operators of "open area" to treat
these areas as No-Smoking areas.

Also, the Act also allows the city to pass
ordinances to protect public play grounds,
sports fields, stadiums, and other public open
areas and treat same as No-Smoking areas.

(AZ Statutes ARS 36-601.01 (D) and (M))

Thanks and Good Luck

Posted: Saturday, April 5, 2014
Article comment by: What Next?

Look, I DON'T smoke or use tobacco, it is an unhealthy habit but "The Control" of Americans is going to far. If you want to smoke that's a personal decision. If you don't like "Smoke" walk away from it, your not being forced to inhale it in an outdoor environment like a city park. People just love to complain! Today it's cigarettes, what will it be tomorrow, Plants because of pollen? Look at L.A. where you can see the air you breathe from cars, trucks, buses and industry. It's Brown Smog but God forbid you smoke a cigarette. Enough of the belly aching already, I'm tired of it!!!

Posted: Saturday, April 5, 2014
Article comment by: It seems to me:

We haven't put the War On Drugs down yet, but already people are looking for something else to ban.

Miss informed and I don't walk down the same streets in Cottonwood or shop at the same malls.

Healthy Person has no idea where their study was conducted or how conditions in that area compare to the Verde Valley.

Middleschoolers should be taught that prohibition is even more hazardous to people's health. Picking up trash in Riverside Park is a very commendable activity. But there's already an ordinance against littering. Lobbying for redundant and discriminatory laws is not a good thing.

Posted: Friday, April 4, 2014
Article comment by: miss informed

I agree that tobacco should be outlawed in public places. No one should be exposed to stinky, unhealthy tobacco smoke. Also, I do not understand why so many smokers do not properly dispose of unsightly cigarette butts. Our streets are littered with them and almost every day, I see smoking butts in the streets that have been tossed out by uncaring motorists. These burning butts cause fires that can burn our deserts and threaten the safety of people who are in the way of these fires. Please smokers, don't be pigs and do properly dispose of your trash.

Posted: Friday, April 4, 2014
Article comment by: C J

For al those people out there that say second hand smoke is a myth the thing is either way people think its disgusting and for this amazing little girl keep rocking on.

Posted: Friday, April 4, 2014
Article comment by: Healthy Person

Great idea. I just read an article that said that in cities and towns where they have banned smoking in public places, that it has helped cut premature births by 10% and cut hospital admissions by kids having asthma attacks. The research is clear...smoking is terrible for the person doing it and bad also for those around them. It's groups like this that give me hope we'll all have a healthier tomorrow.

Posted: Friday, April 4, 2014
Article comment by: Roxie Squirrel

"...there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke."

That includes barbecues, folks. Cook your stuff indoors. Vegans demand protection from your sizzling animal fumes.

Posted: Friday, April 4, 2014
Article comment by: Kids would rather not inhale your smoke and dodge your cigarette butts,

And you get angry with them?

That nicotine must really be working it's magic.

Give the kids a break, if you want to smoke please do.. in your house or in your car with the windows rolled up.

You choosing to smoke should not endanger the rest of us that don't have that choice when you are around and smoking.

Great letter Summer Scott, keep up the good work and ignore those who blame you for their own bad habits.

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