Way to go Philadelphia; Mayor Michael Nutter has signed an executive order making the city’s pools, playgrounds and recreation centers smokefree.
The change takes effect July 1. It’s great news for parents who don’t want their kids to be exposed to the toxins in secondhand smoke. And great news for the kids too.
But at least one news outlet couldn’t help but editorialize. The local Fox News station called the move “another shot at smokers, further limiting their right to consume a legal product.”
Excuse me? It’s not a ban, despite what headline writers say. The order doesn’t say you can’t smoke – it just says you have to go somewhere else to do it. The mayor is saying that smokers can’t poison the air for others at pools, playgrounds and recreation centers.
Oh, Fox News also counted more than 100 cigarette butts on the ground at the recreation center where the mayor made his announcement.
Given that secondhand smoke has 4,000 chemicals, more than 69 of which are known or suspected carcinogens, and given that the U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and given that studies show the effects of secondhand smoke are particularly acute for children, we say the mayor of Philadelphia did a great thing today.