To the Editor:
I’m writing to express my concern that the playgrounds in the Village of Gilberts, as well as several neighboring municipalities, are not smoke free.
As a resident of Gilberts and a mother of two young boys, I recently proposed an ordinance change to the village board that was met with resistance on the basis that this is not supported by the community and it was simply not an issue that needed addressing. In my outreach, I’ve found many local parents are in support of an ordinance and, were unaware that it is lawful to smoke at our parks and recreation areas.
We have a duty to protect our children – according to data from the Centers for Disease Control there are 230,000 Illinois children who are alive now that will die prematurely due to smoking-related disease. The risks of secondhand smoke (SHS) are well documented and are grounded in evidenced based research studies.
SHS is known to cause cancer. It has more than 7,000 chemicals, including at least 70 that can cause cancer. We also know that SHS has the same harmful chemicals that smokers inhale. There’s no safe level of exposure for secondhand smoke.
I urge your readers to contact the village of Gilberts and encourage them to vote to make our parks smoke free. Contact information is on the village of Gilberts website at www.villageofgilberts.com.