To the editor of THE EAGLE:

Every good parent wants to protect their child from all hurts, diseases, and harm. The reality of life though is that our sons and daughters will face many things that we cannot control. What about the things we can control?

I recently filed a petition to ban smoking in all city parks and playgrounds. After constantly witnessing adults sitting around in parks that are supposed to be a safe environment for children smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products, I finally had enough. Playgrounds are supposed to be a safe, fun, and healthy place for all children, but they are being robbed of their safety because of the secondhand smoke that they are being exposed to. One of my main jobs as a parent is to protect my son against the things that he cannot defend himself against while he is growing up. This is why my petition is of the utmost importance.

Adults cannot smoke in bars or clubs that children are not allowed in, but they can smoke in parks that in a sense were created for the enjoyment of children. How does that even make sense? Our children are being poisoned, and in a sense abused because no one has really taken the time to examine the logic behind allowing people to smoke so freely anywhere, with no regard for our children's safety.

We are all aware of what smoking and secondhand smoke can do to everyone. If you make the choice as an adult to smoke then that is your prerogative, but when you do it in a way that will potentially endanger my son, then it's my responsibility to do something.

As a community, we have to do everything possible to protect our children against the things that we can. No one believes that things are an issue until a disaster occurs. Why wait for one of our children to fall victim to a sickness before we act? It's better to act then be forced to react.

New York City is home to 8 million people, and it has 1,700 parks or playgrounds that are all smoke free. If they can ban smoking in such a large community, shouldn't we be able to accomplish this same goal in our community?

TYSEN UNIQUE

EDWARDS

Pittsfield