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Tobacco-free parks are long overdue


Yes, it’s early in the process, but when it comes to smoking, or rather extinguishing the opportunity for smoking, we find it hard to hold back. The Stonington Recreation Commission wants all town parks to be tobacco free and is considering establishing a policy to do just that. We hope they proceed on this course.

The concept surfaced during the March meeting of the commission when representatives of the Ledge Light Health District presented statistics on tobacco use and asked the panel to consider banning tobacco products from all town parks.

On Monday, the commission wrestled with exactly how to accomplish such a goal. Members noted that despite signs banning dogs in the town’s parks and recreation fields, there are often dogs present. They appear to be satisfied with establishing a commission policy at first and then pursing a town ordinance through the Board of Selectmen once the policy has been tested.

As a society we are well beyond the need to justify such a move. Decades of studies have proved why smoking is hazardous to smokers and those around them. The concept of adults smoking while watching their children participate in sports is both ludicrous and irresponsible.

The commission is hoping that Ledge Light can help finance some signage once a policy is enacted. Chances are the signs will be ignored to some degree by those who still don’t get it or worse, just don’t care about those around them — including their loved ones. But it’s a start. The commission would be responsible for enforcement at the policy level, but it would rise to a police matter if an ordinance is enacted. If the commissioners enact a tobacco ban at the town’s fields they deserve the support of the rest of us when it comes to enforcement through civil reminders of the ban.



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