Make no mistake: Electronic cigarettes are a huge threat to millions of Americans | Letters
As the author of federal legislation to regulate and tax e-cigarette “vapes” for the first time, I take issue with Jacob Sullum’s recent column, which was titled “Bureaucrats, pols seem determined to cripple the alternative to smoking that saves lives ”.
Vaping is a huge threat to the health of millions of young Americans – with 20% of high school students currently using this highly addictive product.
The purpose of the Food and Drug Administration’s current review of electronic cigarettes, which Sullum criticizes, is to decide whether they have a net positive public health benefit. The unregulated and untaxed market no longer requires such proof.
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Rather than trying to keep vapers away from adults, my legislation aims to reduce excessive levels of addictive nicotine; get rid of the vaping “flavors” that are supposed to appeal to children; and closing the loophole that allows electronic cigarettes to evade taxes on other tobacco products.
There’s a reason the big tobacco companies are buying out some of the biggest vape makers. It is not to save lives; it is to increase their own profits.
Adults can do whatever they want, although there is simply no evidence that vapers help them quit. But our children are not for sale. Their lives deserve our protection.
WE. Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois
COVID-19 doesn’t care how you vote
Mercedes Hidalgo’s Thursday test, on her brother who died of COVID, was heartbreaking. It was also fair about the selfish attitude of far too many people who refuse to listen to their doctors and other health experts and instead listen to political or “topical” commentators who have their work cut out for them. .
This coronavirus is not political. It kills indiscriminately regardless of your beliefs or your voting record.
I have been saying for years that partisan politics is destroying our great country, and it is only getting worse. The hyper-partisanship of the past five or so years – really since the rise of Donald Trump – is tearing the fabric of our democracy apart. And it comes from both ends of the political spectrum. We need to bring the two sides of the middle together, a place where agreement is possible, before it’s too late.
Mike Staunton, Oak Forest
Danger of more deadly variants
I want to express my sincere condolences to Mercedes Hidalgo, who wrote about the death of her brother. I can’t imagine his pain and grief. I also want to thank her for the strength and courage she has shown in writing such a compelling essay during such a moving and painful time.
Ms Hidalgo got to the heart of the matter when she pointed out that her brother had succumbed to a variant of COVID-19 – the delta variant – which is “a product of those who failed to get vaccinated”.
I, too, can’t understand the fact that so many people, even at this point in the pandemic, don’t seem to understand that the delta variant exists – and that potentially even more deadly variants could follow.
If we fail to stop the virus from continuing to circulate in the population, it will continue to mutate, most likely gaining strength. If left unchecked, this is what viruses do. They are mutating.
Ms Hidalgo is also absolutely right when she writes that “so many people listen to fools and not their own doctors”. I am stunned when these same people are infected and hospitalized. Then they trust these same doctors.
At this point, sometimes it seems easier to give up pushing away the loudest, most illogical people, resigning ourselves to the idea that our efforts are wasted. But we can’t. Because their failure to do the right thing always affects us.
How do they explain this to their children? How do they see life ever getting back to normal? How do they see this end?
I wonder if in a rare quiet and contemplative moment they envision something similar to Daniel Hidalgo’s fate?
Chris Cerasoli, Elmhurst