The legislator does not act on flavored tobacco
I was raised to do things that help protect people from known dangers, and recently the Maine Legislature had the opportunity to take such a step. But in the closing days of the session, he failed to shield Maine’s youth from the lure of flavored cigarettes.
Like the teenagers before them, these devices are considered cool; little attention is paid to the potential for a lifetime of addiction and dangerous health effects.
I was a high school student in the mid-1960s and was charmed by the image of a desert animal on the front of a pack of cigarettes; it became my brand, without filters, of course. At that time, advertising campaigns promoted cigarettes on television and on billboards; even Hank Aaron beckoned us towards the habit. I was already hooked when the US Surgeon General required a smoking warning label on every pack of cigarettes. I developed chronic bronchitis over four years, so I listened to my doctor and quit.
In 2020, flavored tobacco is marketed directly to our youth which now includes three of my grandchildren in their teens; the flavors are designed to seduce them and the high levels of nicotine to hook them. I listened to the reasons given in favor of e-cigarettes, but I could only conclude: at what cost to the lives of the young people of Maine? Our state will pay for the lasting health effects; lives will be harmed or even lost (look for cancer rates among smokers).
I am deeply disappointed in the Maine legislature for its cowardly action on behalf of the children of Maine.
Elizabeth M. Cooke
Shagoury has good qualities for the legislature