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From Tameka Kernen

By Staff | Feb 20, 2013

To whom it may concern,

We, the members of Teen Advisory Council (TAC), are writing in favor of a policy that establishes tobacco free parks and playgrounds because we are committed to a healthy lifestyle that does not include the use of tobacco.

Raze is a group of West Virginia’s teens, dedicated to tearing down the lies of big tobacco and fighting them with all we’ve got, our passion, our power, and our minds. Teen Advisory Council acts as a soundboard for ideas and represents our peers. We work on different things to help make West Virginia a tobacco free environment. Banning smoking in parks will help create a better environment where children won’t be influenced by adults who smoke tobacco. Small children are at risk of swallowing, choking, or burning themselves with discarded cigarette butts and poisoning themselves with littered nicotine products in parks. Raze’s TAC is working on making all parks in West Virginia tobacco free. By making parks tobacco free, it will help reduce the risk of getting cancer from secondhand smoke.

I’m a junior at Hundred High School, and during my time at the Hundred Park, I’ve seen many people smoke there and after they’re done with their cigarette they just throw it down on the ground. Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world, and aren’t only hazardous to children and animals, but also to the environment.

Also, cigarette butts make parks and playgrounds look dirty and uninviting. As you are aware, secondhand smoke is known to cause cancer and trigger asthma attacks. Parks should be places where community members, mostly children, are exposed to a safe environment. I, my friends, and the children deserve a clean tobacco free place to play.

For these reasons Raze and the Teen Advisory Council (TAC) encourages all municipalities to establish tobacco free parks and recreation areas.

Thank you for your time,

Tameka Kernen of Hundred High School for

Local members of Raze Teen Advisory Council, Wetzel County