PLEASE Don't Smoke at the Park!

PLEASE Don't Smoke at the Park!

Erin Burt

I’ll never forget the awkward moment when I had to ask a family member not to hold my brand new baby near the other people who were smoking. It didn’t matter that they were outside; second-hand smoke is dangerous regardless of where you are standing. To me, this seems like common sense, but to others that simply wasn’t the case.

Decades ago, the side affects of tobacco use were unknown. That is not longer the case, and the real danger of second-hand smoke has also become common knowledge. Many states have even passed laws to prevent adults from smoking in cars with children.

In the state where I live, businesses are smoke-free by law. Patrons are required to move beyond ten feet of the entrance of a business in order to smoke cigarettes.

Many outdoor places, such as the zoo or swimming pools, have designated smoking areas to keep second-hand smoke from becoming a nuisance to others.

So I have to ask, why are people lighting up cigarettes at playgrounds and other public places? Here’s the thing. I can control what I feed my kids and how much screen time they get. I can control how much sleep they get, and if they wear sunscreen. I do my very best to maintain their health and safety. However, I cannot control the quality of air they breathe when we are playing at the park or having a picnic somewhere.

So here is my plea. If you must smoke, please do so in an area where children are not around. Even when you are outside, air moves and the wind blows. Be courteous of others who don’t share your love of tobacco, and be mindful that innocent children deserve to breathe air that is free from the toxins of second-hand smoke. The dangers of second-hand smoke are real, and our children deserve better. So if you are going to smoke, walk away from the children who may be around you. Keep kids safe. Smoke in your own space.

Wendy is a mother of four who lives in central Illinois where she blogs at

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