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Please do not ban smoking tobacco in Seattle parks [“City officials seek ban on smoking in Seattle parks,” Local News, March 20]. As renters, we cannot smoke in our own homes. There is no public building where smoking is allowed. Smoking has been banned even in bars. A bill that would have permitted a few cigar lounges in the state was killed in the Legislature this year. One’s neighborhood park is the last place in Seattle where a person can sit down and enjoy a smoke.

According to Christopher Williams, acting parks superintendent, “Visitors come to parks to enjoy healthful, outdoor recreation. When there are smokers in a park, it diminishes others’ ability to do that.” Actually, visitors come to parks for all sorts of legitimate reasons, one being to smoke. I am a constant witness to people running around and enjoying activities in Cal Anderson Park. None of them has ever told me that my cigar smoke is bothering them.

The mayor says, “We know the dangers of secondhand smoke.” Really? Do we know that a whiff of tobacco smoke, outdoors, harms anyone? Outdoor smoking is nothing compared to pollutants we are already breathing.

Cigarette litter won’t go away if it’s eliminated from parks. The butts will end up on the ground, one way or another.

A perception exists that no one really wants to smoke tobacco. This leads to the mistaken belief that sin taxes and other laws that make smoking difficult are doing smokers a favor. They aren’t.

I smoke because it is one of life’s pleasures. My enjoyment of the park is as important as anyone’s.

Kate Anthony, Seattle