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Letter to the editor: Idlewild’s smoking policies inappropriate

August 24, 2018

On a recent trip to Idlewild & SoakZone, I was shocked to find a number of inappropriately placed smoking areas. Named “Best Children’s Park” by Amusement Today, Idlewild proclaims on its website that the park is to be enjoyed by both smokers and nonsmokers. However, it seemed as though the park is regressive in its inclusive policy.

I watched nonsmoking parents try to navigate past the smoking areas, telling their children they could not participate in some of the attractions in an attempt to avoid secondhand smoke exposure. It’s not just an inconvenience -- it’s a health hazard. The CDC reports that since 1964, 2.5 million nonsmokers have died from health problems caused by exposure to secondhand smoke. Furthermore, the most common chronic childhood disease is asthma, of which tobacco smoke is a known trigger.

It’s 2018. It’s time to be more aggressive with smoke-free policies. Why would anyone think that having a designated smoking area in Storybook Forest would be appropriate? Can we finally accept that smoking is harmful and nonsmokers shouldn’t be exposed to the health hazards of tobacco smoke? I’m appalled that a children’s park wouldn’t embrace this. Perhaps the ability for children to breathe fresh air, and not cigarette smoke, should be the park’s priority.

Carla Conrad

Cranberry Township

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