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The parks in Dane County provide a great way to enjoy the outdoors, but they’d be even better if they were free of tobacco, including electronic cigarettes.

As a professional log roller and the owner of Madison Log Rolling on Lake Wingra, I’m near parks and beaches often, and too often experience secondhand smoke exposure. We recently hosted the Midwest Log Rolling Championships at Wingra Park. Many of our athletes, youth and elite, had to endure inhalation of second hand smoke from spectators while in competition on the lake.

As a mother, I frequently bring my two young boys to Madison’s many wonderful playgrounds. I absolutely do not want them to have to take in second hand smoke while outside for fun activities. Many times we have had to pack them up and go to another park, which is not ideal with a baby and a four year old.

Families use parks and beaches for fun and leisure, and shouldn’t have to encounter cigarette litter on the beach or in the lakes. This includes used e-cigarette liquid pods discarded on the ground. 

Let’s talk to our local policymakers about making our great parks 100% tobacco-free, including e-cigarettes. This will keep Dane County a great environment for everyone.

Shana Verstegen, Madison 

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