If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. If you want to know if smoking should be banned in your town, turn to grade school kids for the answers. Mayors who are debating the smoking ban issue take notice. These kids have some valid reasons not to smoke.
In the small town of Linton, ND, population of about 1,300, Mrs. Linda Kelsch gave her third-grade classroom a writing assignment on “whether or not to allow smoking in all public areas or privately owned businesses in Linton.” Their answers are simply stated and to the point: smoking makes people sick, causes pollution, and is bad for our community.
Many students expressed concern for the health of others who smoke and those who are exposed to secondhand smoke: the smoke hurts not only the smoker, but others who breathe in the smoke as well. They noted that “people wouldn’t get as sick if they stopped smoking.” Several students mentioned smoking was “bad for your lungs,” and caused illnesses such as lung cancer. One student stated “you can live a better life without a cigarette.”
A majority of the students noted that smoking “pollutes the air.” They expressed a valid opinion that “smoking stinks,” and described the smoke as “nasty.” They were also concerned that they (smokers) “just throw the cigarettes wherever they smoked,” and how it was “unkind to the planet.”
The students may be young, but they see the harm that smoking is doing to their community. They “think Linton should be a non-smoking town,” and that “there are too many people that smoke in this town.” The third-graders believe that smoking “is not good for the community.” One student asks a valid question: “How can people stand to smoke?”
So, to the Mayor and city council members, don’t be surprised to see Mrs. Kelsch’s third grade classroom before you with a proposal to make outdoor areas of Linton smoke-free. The kids believe Linton “would be a better place” if people stopped smoking. After all, “it is not good for kids. It is just not good for anyone.”
Click the link to read The Kids Get It: Secondhand Smoke Kills