Ban smoking at national parks and memorials

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My wife and I recently visited the Grand Canyon in Arizona and the memorial to those who died in a plane crash near Shanksville, Pa., on Sept. 11, 2001. Each of these places has its own beauty and meaning. The natural beauty of the Grand Canyon is indescribable. It is truly one of the wonders of the world. The 9/11 memorial, with its marble and granite, evokes memories of the courage shown by the heroes who gave their lives to save others on that tragic day in 2001.

Unfortunately the beauty of the Grand Canyon and the reverence of the 9/11 memorial were marred by the presence of tobacco butts strewn about.

At the canyon, one can ride buses that have stops at viewing spots. Even though cigarette butt receptacles were provided at the bus stops, there were still butts on the ground at nearly all the stops.

I propose that smoking be banned at all of our national parks and memorials. Such a ban would protect visitors from toxic tobacco chemicals in the air, eliminate the cigarette butt filth and save money by eliminating the need for butt receptacles and cleanup.

JOHN O'HARA
President
Maryland Group Against Smokers' Pollution
Bowie, Md.


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