LETTERS

Big Tobacco admits its deadly toll-and Rhode Island ready to combat it

Posted

This month marks the 43rd annual American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout, a day dedicated to helping people quit tobacco. It’s fitting that this important day falls so close to another milestone in the fight against tobacco use—the next phase in Big Tobacco’s public admissions about the dangers of tobacco.

In 2006, a U.S. District Judge ruled that tobacco companies had defrauded the American public by lying about the health effects of smoking and intentionally making cigarettes more addictive. As a result, tobacco companies have been forced to come clean to the public and place advertisement in newspapers and on television that say what science has been showing for years: tobacco products are deadly and addictive.

This month, tobacco companies will be required to start telling their consumers the truth directly on their cigarette packs. They are being compelled, by court order, to attach notes onto cigarette packages that acknowledge the deadly hazards of using their addictive products.

These statements can help hold Big Tobacco accountable for their long history of wrongdoing and remind Rhode Islanders of the true tolls of tobacco use. But we must do more to help people break their addictions. That’s why it’s critical Rhode Island lawmakers protect children by increasing tobacco control program funding and raising the sale age for all tobacco products in our state, including e-cigarettes, from 18 to 21. By taking a stand against Big Tobacco we can help families and communities across Rhode Island to build a healthier future.

Ethel Ricci

Volunteer, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

Warwick

Comments

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davebarry109

Why raise it to 21? You can vote and serve in the military at 18. Also, E-cigarettes have been proven to help people get off cigarettes. It seems you 'action network' needs some action on that part. I know people who have been able to finally quit through vaping and then they quit vaping. Your baby with the bath water approach is wrong here.

Thursday, November 15, 2018
richardcorrente

Dear davebarry109,

I agree with you that our military should have privileges far and above civilians but as for the legal age to smoke cigarettes? I'm thinking 65 is appropriate. Or maybe make them illegal at any age. Imagine what that would do to health insurance costs. Without all the problems caused by cigarettes, our state (nation) would be substantially better off. Your insurance would drop significantly! Everyone would be much more healthy. What a world that would be!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Thursday, November 15, 2018
Cat

Making things illegal has never caused them to cease to exist. Prohibition, guns, drugs - anyone? In fact, what tends to happen is you have made the item "forbidden fruit" and it actually causes more interest than would normally be shown. You are stepping on personal freedom if you think making something illegal just because you don't do it is acceptable. Going by that logic, shouldn't we make vaccinations mandatory by law? Sure, it is for the greater good and helps other people besides the ones who don't want it but taking away someones right to make decisions on their own body (or their child's body is quite a slippery slope).

The good thing is that Millennial have caused a drastic decrease in smoking. Years of watching their parents and grandparents struggle sunk in. Great advertising targeting their age group was effective. All very positive things that should be applauded. Also, as previously stated, many young people have used vaping as a way to stop smoking. I have many friends that have used this method and they were smoke free within a month. Most did not continue with vaping which is another win.

I don't think raising the age from 18 to 21 will provide the results you want to see. Kids as young as 12 and 13 can get their hands on cigarettes. It isn't hard to do. Same for vaping. You simply won't stop young people from smoking by raising the age limit. Instead, why not continue the targeted advertisement and media blitz that has been so successful? Check the pulse of the youth before trying to chain them down by restricting their freedom. It could backfire in a big way and we could potentially see all the positive trends start to tank. One thing has been historically true. The more you try to restrict young people, the more they want to rebel.

Friday, November 30, 2018