Nothing announces the quintessential start of summer like kids splashing in a pool, the smell of chlorine, and parents sunbathing close by while lifeguards offer an extra set of eyes for safety.

But for some residents, it’s what they can’t see and the effects of second-hand smoking cigarettes that worries them.

Although smoking cigarettes is banned in all seven of Leonia’s parks, smoking cigarettes is allowed at a designated area on the Leonia Pool Club property.

"There is no smoking cigarettes inside the gates of the pool," said Recreation Center Director Barbara Davidson of the pool club which has approximately 3,000 members. "The only place [to smoke] is out in front, a distance away on the sidewalk. It’s a designated area outside the front gate on the sidewalk about 30 or 40-feet away from the entrance and 100-feet from the kiddie pool."

Davidson said when members walk towards the parking lot they do not pass the smoking cigarettes area.

"The parking lot is on the right side and the smoking cigarettes urn is on the left side," Barbara Davidson added. "The kiddie pool is also on the left side, but there’s a building in between. But they’re not blowing smoke cigarettes in the air."

Over the winter, Leonia resident Paul King asked the pool committee to completely ban smoking cigarettes at the Borough’s pool, but his request was turned down because the Borough did not want to disenfranchise pool members who smoke.

"I find this response completely unacceptable," said King.

In response to King’s request, the designated smoking cigarettes area was moved approximately 30-feet away from the pool and primary pedestrian traffic flow of people accessing the pool.

"While not ideal, it's better than 5-feet away from the entrance and in the primary flow of pedestrians," King added. "I applaud the Committee for taking this small step in right direction."

But King still wants smoking cigarettes banned at the pool club and is concerned how effectively the smoking cigarettes rule will be enforced. He is also disappointed with having sighted cigarette butts littering the grounds outside the front gate along the curb.

"I guess the smoking cigarettes folk haven't made the connection that the unsigned smoking cigarettes station identified as 3-feet high and 1 foot in diameter ashtray is the place to dispose of their butts," King added.

But not all non-smokers believe a smoker’s right should be revoked, despite the plethora of health risk information available to the public.

"I think people should be allowed to do what they want as long as they’re not bothering anyone else," said Michael Raskin, a pool member who frequents the pool regularly with his three daughters. "I don’t think second hand smoke cigarettes is going to bother anyone. They’re [smokers] a good distance from everyone."

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