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  • Petitioned Tennessee State Legislature

This petition was delivered to:

Tennessee State Legislature

Ban smoking on Tennessee's community playgrounds

    1. Kris Light
    2. Petition by

      Kris Light

      Oak Ridge, TN

I am absolutely appalled to learn that the "rights" of smokers outweigh the right of our precious children to breathe fresh air on the playgrounds of Tennessee! State law does not allow communities to regulate smoking, so I believe the state should take on this responsibility. Smoking has been banned in public buildings, restaurants, airplanes, outside entrances of public buildings, on university campuses, and even at the UT football stadium, so why can't helpless young children be protected from being exposed to the acrid odor and toxic chemicals from cigarette smoke when they are on Tennessee's community playgrounds? Young children should be able to breathe fresh air as they play and exercise . No smoker has ever died from a "nicotine fit" when they can't smoke, but children have died from smoke-induced asthma. Discarded cigarette butts also pose a danger to children who may put them in their mouth or handle them. Many playgrounds have mulch that can burn if a lit cigarette is thrown into it. It is time for us to put a priority on our children's health and ban smoking within Tennessee's playgrounds.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 50 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • about 1 year ago

      Dangers of smoking are as real as the millions of people that lose their lives world wide on an annual basis due to the severe consequences and side effects of nicotine. Smoking dangers can be considered both in the immediate, medium term as well as in the long term. During the early days and years of using tobacco the effects on the whole tend to be less apparent. They may remain hidden yet incrementally damaging your key organs.

      According to credible studies, smoking tobacco has been linked to a plethora of negative health effects. The most commonly known dangers of smoking tobacco are lung cancer, skin cancer and heart disease amongst others take many years to show yet are not the only consequences of tobacco use. It is apparent that in most cases the length of time it is perceived these effects take to manifest has deceived many young people into believing that tobacco use is harmless.

      Immediate Dangers Of Smoking Cigarettes

      The following is a summary of immediate and medium term dangers associated with tobacco use.

      Respiratory infections

      Chronic cough

      Shortness of breadth

      Cardiovascular damage (without symptoms)

      Immune suppression

      Stress and behavioral change

      Nicotine dependency (addiction)

      Increased heart rate

      Increased metabolism

      Respiratory Infections

      Once an individual starts smoking cigarettes, a long protracted process would have been set in motion that eventually leads to a total health breakdown and even death. As this process is set in motion smoking individuals will likely begin to suffer respiratory ailments. Typically this will manifest as chronic cough, shortness of breadth as well as frequent respiratory related infections. A smoking individual will likely notice these remarkable changes in their respiratory health.

      Asymptomatic Cardiovascular Damage

      Shortness of breadth will be more outspoken whenever the individual engages in physical activity. In fact when dealing with teenage tobacco use, this is one of the recommended ways of noticing early tobacco use amongst this group. Other immediate smoking dangers will include cardiovascular damage. Nicotine helps the quick build-up of plaque in the arteries as it promotes the presence of bad cholesterol known as LDL. This is often what leads to heart disease in smokers later in life.

      Immune Weakness

      Tobacco smoking may also lead to the compromise of your immune system in the medium term. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) cigarette smokers put a definite stress on their antibodies. This allows for other infections to enter in which the body would under normal circumstances overcome. This immune system suppression also explains the increase in respiratory infection mentioned above.

      Stress and Behavioral change

      Other immediate dangers of smoking include increased stress and behavioral change. This is most noticeable in teenage smokers. Younger smokers tend to develop apparent stress and behavioral changes associated with tobacco use. Stress maybe as a result of the difficulties experienced in dealing with the onset of nicotine dependency.

      Nicotine Dependency (addiction)

      Irreversible or very difficult to break nicotine dependency is also a difficult to ignore danger of smoking. This causes many people to continue smoking years into the future even against their will. Credible studies suggest that up to 70% of smokers think about quitting smoking but are held back by the difficulty and lack of clear steps on how to go about it.

      Increased Heart Rate

      Dangers of smoking also include an increased heart rate. Every individual's heart rate increases at one point or another due to a variety of reasons. These reasons are usually our experiences during the normal course of life such as when working out, when terrified when anxious and so on. However, in the case of tobacco smokers, heart rate can be abnormally high and remain so. This can have fatal results for individuals already suffering from heart disease, with hypertension or any other cardiovascular ailment.

      Increased Metabolism

      The other immediate danger associated with smoking is increased metabolism. Whilst this may seem desirable in actual fact it is associated with a greater heart workload and may lead to the development of heart disease. Moreover, when the individual eventually stops smoking their metabolism rate will fall leading to weight gain. As is well known weight gain is associated with diabetes and heart disease.

      Medium To Long Term Smoking Dangers Cigarettes

      The following is a summary of smoking dangers medium to long term;

      Cancers (lung cancer most prevalent)

      Bronchospasm including (excessive mucus production)


      In long term tobacco smokers are in danger of lung cancer. In fact lung cancer is the leading type of cancer the world is still contending with due to tobacco use. In America alone of all cancer deaths, lung cancer is responsible for nearly 30% of the deaths. It causes death between both men and women. Even though there are other causes of lung cancer even in people who do not smoke, smoking statistics show that in as many as 90% of all cases amongst men the cause is smoking and that number is 80% amongst women. Cigarette additives are at the centre of diseases related to smoking.

      Teenage SmokingOther effects of smoking medium to long term will include excessive mucus production due to damage done to lung hairs known as cilia. This is also associated with persistent cough as the body attempts to deal with the impaired work of cilia in the lungs lining.

      In the medium to long term tobacco use will contribute significantly to high blood pressure also known as hypertension. Individuals who smoke tobacco or use chew tobacco are at increased risk of high blood pressure.

      The dangers of smoking while pregnant are grave. The unborn is placed in direct line of damage becoming likely to be born underweight and even underdeveloped.

      It is also important to keep in mind that the dangers of smoking are not limited to the individual smoking but also to others around them. This is known as second hand smoke or passive smoking. The dangers of second hand smoke are just as real. There is also another factor known as third hand smoke. The dangers are essentially the same leading to hypertension, heart disease and even heart attack.

      All in all there is no really safe smoking as some especially amongst the teens would consider. There are also hardly any safe alternatives to cigarettes. All cigarette smoking is harmful first to the smoker and second to all others around the individual. Whether it's at home, in a bus, in an elevator (third hand smoking), or at an enclosed night spot. Cigarette ingredients makes cigarettes unsafe.

    • Jennifer McGuigan MARYVILLE, TN
      • about 2 years ago

      Because it is unhealthy to everyone within proximity to the smoker, i.e my kids and myself. It is a shared environment and I do not want to breathe smoke. It stinks, its bad for the environment and I can't stand the butts all over the ground. It does however give me and my kids an opportunity to talk about healthy habits and how smoking is one of the worst habits you can ever pick up.

    • Audrey Hoff KNOXVILLE, TN
      • about 2 years ago

      Everyone should have the right to breathe fresh air when they're out "in the fresh air."

      • about 2 years ago

      My youngest daughter has many allergies, and cigarette smoke was terrible for her. I urge the ban on smoking in any public place.

    • Dale Kaiser KNOXVILLE, TN
      • about 2 years ago

      I just makes sense, from all perspectives. Tennessee needs to present a smarter image to the rest of the country in many ways. This is an easy one.


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