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Smoking ban infringes on free will, choice

This letter comes to you as part of the ongoing battle over the proposed smoking ban in Princeton Borough and Township. Let me start by saying I've given great thought to the issue at hand. While I applaud the passion the citizens of this town have shown in response to this proposal, and respect the various points of view, I feel strongly that there is more to say.

We seem to be missing a fundamental issue. This proposed ban is simply unfair. If everyone opens their minds and reads these words from a neutral standpoint, I feel confident they will hear what I am saying. While smoking is a health issue, it is also an issue of choice. We, as consenting adults, make choices constantly. And, quite frankly, they may not be the choices of our neighbors or friends. Nonetheless, we are entitled to make choices as consenting adults living in a free society. It is an unmitaged fact that I have the right to choose what I do with my life. And while people may disagree with me, no one has the right to tell me what I can and cannot do unless I am breaking the law. Being an adult making a conscious, informed decision to smoke a cigarette or cigar is a right I have.

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While I strongly believe the health commission of Princeton had some good intentions when this began, the heart of the matter is simple. It is not up to a committee of a few people to dictate what an entire community can or cannot do. Period. I would fully endorse more education to stop minors from purchasing and smoking cigarettes. I would fully endorse signs outside of establishments making members of the public aware that it is indeed a smoking establishment. If they choose not to patronize that particular establishment, it is their right. It is just that simple. This proposed ban walks on our rights as adults. It also jeopardizes businesses in our community, some of which have been in this town for generations. Why would anyone knowingly choose to destroy that? I simply can't fathom such an action. I beseech the committee and the members of this town to re-think this action. Again, it comes down to choice. One adult does not have the right to take free will and choice away from another, no matter what kind of verbiage or proposal you hide the action under. It simply is not right and certainly is not fair. Kelly Ryan Trani Princeton resident

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