We all love to use our local parks to get out and enjoy the nice weather. Lion’s and Riverside Park are great places to spend time outside, getting fresh air. That is compromised when people choose to smoke in these spaces, and my children and I are forced to breathe in secondhand smoke. I and many other community members would enjoy park experiences more if Mauston parks were tobacco free.

This became very clear to me as I was sitting at my daughter’s t-ball game last summer with my 2-year-old on my lap. We were enjoying the day until we inhaled the smoke of a person who lit a cigarette six feet from where we were sitting. It is quite a shock to the system when you are enjoying beautiful weather and suddenly breathe in chemicals. I was not going to let my son sit in the smoke so we walked away. There is no safe level of secondhand smoke, and allowing tobacco use at public parks doesn’t fit with the purpose of parks to be active.

For more information on tobacco free parks in Juneau County, contact SCW Tobacco Free at 608-847-9403.

Ryan Plamann, Mauston

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