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Burlington County Bans Smoking in Parks – Why Not Just Ban Them All? [POLL]

Flickr User ninasaurusrex)
Flickr User ninasaurusrex)

Does this sound familiar?

It should, because it came up about a month ago.

Garfield is doing it, Passaic is doing it, and you can add Secaucus to the list as well. Banning cigarettes has become the new crusade local governments have been on, and also something of a cash cow.

You get caught, you pay something like a thousand dollar fine.

And the excuse is always about the dangers of second hand smoke; and how harmful it is not just to those around you, but how harmful smoking is in general.

Our elected officials are being disingenuous when it comes to this.

Why?

Because they make plenty of cash-ish off the sale of cigarettes.

And they’re funny too in how they want to go about it.

Just look across the river to what Mayor Adolf Bloomberg is looking to do.

Hide them from public view.

What a fool! But he’ll raise property taxes to make up for the shortfall.

According to this:

The number of places that smokers can legally fire up a cigarette or pipe is getting fewer and fewer.

On the heels of Evesham finalizing a ban at all of its parks and recreation areas, the smoke-free initiative appears to be spreading countywide.

The Burlington County Board of Freeholders announced Wednesday that all county parks will go smoke- and tobacco-free beginning May 31 in honor of World No Tobacco Day, promoted by the World Health Organization and partners worldwide to highlight the health risks associated with the use of tobacco and to promote quitting smoking.

“We all know that smoking is a serious health risk, but secondhand smoke, even breathed outdoors, can cause major health problems as well,” said Freeholder Joanne Schwartz, liaison to the county Health Department. “Making our parks smoke- and tobacco-free is just a small step that the county can take to help promote healthy living.”

The county made the change after it was contacted by Tobacco-Free for a Healthy New Jersey. The Health Department partnered with the county’s Resource Conservation and the Tobacco-Free group to formulate the plan.

Seven county parks — Amico Island, Pennington, Historic Smithville, Long Bridge, Willingboro Lakes and Crystal Lake — will be included in the ban, along with the Rancocas Nature Center, the county amphitheater in Westampton, the Agricultural Center in Moorestown, and the Prison Museum grounds in Mount Holly.

The American Cancer Society congratulated the county for its commitment to improving the public’s health.

“This sends a strong message to the youth of the region that the elected leaders of their community do not endorse smoking in public places under their jurisdiction,” said Dr. Fred M. Jacobs, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society’s Eastern Division.

While the number of smoking bans continues to increase, not everyone agrees that it’s warranted.

“I believe that they’re chipping away at some of our rights and our freedoms,” said John Wigmore of Delran, who was visiting Pennington Park in Delanco with his wife, Karen, on Wednesday.

“I don’t want smoke in my face, but I believe you should be able to smoke in a designated area,” Wigmore said. “If you smoke, you should be able to go there and enjoy your cigarette.”

His wife agreed.

“What are they going to do next, ban people from chewing gum?” she asked.

And it goes on and on.
If you need to stop, there are plenty of products on the market to help you stop without government wacking your behind.

If you need anymore convincing, watch the Public Service Announcements produced by the New York City Health Department…like this one here.

Your choice…not the government’s!

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