We believe that individuals have every right -as long as they are old enough - to destroy their lungs, their tracheas, teeth and the soft tissue in their mouths with tobacco.
Have at it.
But don't force children outside of your control to endure and share in your self-destructive ways.
The City of Warren is closing in on amending its recreation ordinance to prohibit smoking in areas of city parks geared toward children.
The proposed amendment reads: "Smoking cigarette, cigar, pipe or other tobacco product anywhere within the grounds (where children are present) of the playground equipment area, public restroom or portable toilet, youth ball field area, municipal pool or skate park area of Betts Park, Beaty Park (in its entirety), Point Park, Mulberry Park, Municipal Pool Complex, Breeze Point Park, Lacy Park, DeFrees Park, Musante Field and Crescent Park is prohibited. Any individual violating this provision shall be immediately ejected from said recreation, park or conservation area."
There are no fines involved, no criminal prosecution.
The puffer must just go somewhere else.
The city's Parks and Recreation Commission approved the tobacco ban Tuesday night.
We appeal to Warren City Council to follow through and approve the amendment.
Yes, smokers have rights. But, children have rights as well, and those rights include the freedom to breathe air not fouled through the actions of total strangers.