Teens already shop and dine at smoke-free businesses

Opinion

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I am a twelve year old boy attending Brooks Junior High. I am very athletic, I played Bronco baseball last year, I am on the Strikers soccer club, and I am on the Brooks basketball team. Also I am a student athlete with a 3.78 GPA. As you can tell, I have a lot going for me. One of the biggest factors in my life right now is smoking. A while back, I decided, I chose not to smoke.

When I hang out with my friends, most of the time we hang out in downtown Oak Park. We are not the only ones hanging out there, there are a lot of teens there other than my friends. As it has come to my attention, Downtown Oak Park as a whole, is opposing Smoke Free Oak Park. Apparently DTOP decided to oppose it because of the issue of choice. They are thinking that people will not want to shop at their stores or restaurants. This amazed me, because when I hang out we go to, Starbucks, Tasty Dog, Caribou Coffee, the Lake Theater, Pumpkin Moon, Erik's and they are all smoke free.

I learn a lot about the dangers of smoke and second hand smoke in school. I know adults who smoke and it disgusts me. It makes me sick. I am healthy because I have not been exposed to second hand smoke very much. I am very thankful because I know that five million kids living right now will die prematurely because of second hand smoke. I do not want my life to be jeopardized because I made the choice not to smoke, and because some one else made the choice to smoke my life is in danger.
Joshua Leitson
member, Smoke-Free OP

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