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Please stop teen smoking near the high school!
Don, I could not agree more that we should tax all unhealthy behavior (what makes you think I feel otherwise?) including any I indulge in. The fact remains that as taxes on cigarettes rise, the usage falls, especially among youth. Cancer Corner is an embarrassment to our city, and creates a negative environment for our youth.
Will we wait for a child to have a fatal asthma attack as they walk through the cloud of smoke to get to school, or a child is killed walking in the street because the sidewalk is obstructed by smokers, before we take action? Then the family will sue the city (rightly so, they had every opportunity and years to act) and we will all have our taxes go up.
Please, Oneida, do right by our kids!
I'm not a legal expert, but it seems that unless the smokers on cancer corner are breaking the law, there wouldn't be anything that law enforcement can do. Are there ordinances that prohibit loitering that we could enforce? That's about all that comes to my mind.
I'm not sure what undercover cops would be able to do. Again, I'm not an expert, but I don't think their job includes dressing up like teenagers, smoking cigarettes on the corner, and standing around watching everyone until something illegal happens. Aside from the fact that the smokers probably all know each other by now and would be incredibly suspicious, I'd like to think that our highly trained narcotics officers have bigger fish to fry anyway.
I think a better thing to do might be to go to the school board. I don't think it would be too difficult to get them to pass an ordinance that prohibits smoking by enrolled students within half a mile of the school, or something to that effect. If that were to happen, then law enforcement could step in and, even if they didn't issue tickets, disperse the smokers and make life a little easier for the other students who want only to walk to school unmolested.
I think the first thing to make clear is that possession of cigarettes and smoking them is NOT illegal! It is a law that tobacco products can only be sold to persons of 18 years or older. So, even if a ten year old kid was out there smoking, no tickets can be issued.
The other problem with cancer corner is that unless the kids are on school grounds the old train tracks in which they are normally located is private property, not the schools or the city's.
The best solution to this problem is what "not an expert wrote." A city ordinance to ban smoking within a distance from school grounds or even on city sidewalks is the best solution. Having worked a little with this problem with Reality Check, a teen led group against tobacco companies targeting teenagers, these are the facts that I am aware of.
Lastly, by no means, being a student, there is no reason for stereotyping these teenagers, as bad, delinquent, drug-dealing kids. In fact, the biggest problem is the lack of guidance in life that they have.
Here is a link to what Oneida plans to do about this.
let the kids smoke and get quit fingering their lung pudding and choices...most kids are punks and need to look cool, so let 'em think they are. Allow and the urge just may subside, deny and it will grow and grow...if a teen need to smoke at that age, it's a parental fault. Heck as long as these kids actually go to class we should be content, lest they start skipping and actually hanging around on your lawns like hippies or slinging whatever off corners just looking suspicious.
Smoking is still bad, mmmkay? But personal freedoms are still the best.
sad indeed, sad that the hippies are gone. compassionate conservatives are an oxymoron to some and a life to others. point is that these teens stay in school and out of the impressionable hands of adolescent boredom.
plenty of people live in time warps but hippies are just an old cliche...allow me to modernize...and then they just hang around places on heavy doses of pharmaceuticals and legalized fake marijuana sipping on four-locos before they go do some other ill advised things...
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Protecting youth from starting smoking will save the taxpayers of Madison County millions of dollars. This DOES have a very positive effect on economics, and they will not be wasting their money due to addiction to a harmful drug, instead they can spend it on food, libraries and rent, keeping the money here.
Saving children from an addiction that would kill half of them is NOT a trivial matter.
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