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Reader's view: Support bill to make foster care homes smoke-free

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My family has provided foster-care services for more than 25 years, and through that experience, as well as through my professional work in the social-work field, I have become well aware of some of the hazardous and unhealthy environments in which youth, at times, are found living.

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Foster care can be a good resource to provide a safe and stable environment for those in need; however, a safe environment also means these vulnerable youth should be protected from the dangers of secondhand smoke. There is a reason that smoking is banned in restaurants, airplanes and grocery stores. Exposure to secondhand smoke can have extreme health risks, especially to young children who are still growing.

Youth in foster care don’t get to choose their placement, but no matter where they go they deserve the right to have a clean, safe and stable environment; and that includes being protected from the poisonous air of secondhand smoke.

Please support our foster youth by supporting the statewide smoke-free foster care bill.

Kelly Polasky

Duluth

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