We are pleased about the efforts of the Cook County Board and Commissioner Donna Miller to reduce the harms of flavored electronic cigarettes and vaping products, but we believe the amendment to the ordinance does not go far enough. To truly make a difference and protect the lives of residents of unincorporated Cook County, the amendment must include all tobacco products in all flavors, including mint and menthol.
We already know that candy, dessert, and fruit flavors increase the appeal of tobacco to teens and youth. But menthol is also a serious gateway for adult smoking, and a comprehensive ban on flavored tobacco products that includes mint and menthol flavoring characteristics is critical.
Banning flavored e-cigarettes is a good start to protecting public health, but if the ban is not comprehensive, many people will continue to suffer the ever-widening health disparities present in portions of unincorporated Cook County.
Kelly Nichols, senior manager, policy and advocacy, Respiratory Health Association
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Pay attention to gun violence, not AM radio
I see that our politicians in Washington, D.C. are up in arms about passing legislation to require auto manufacturers to put AM radios in cars under the umbrella of protecting consumers.
I wish they would listen to all the gun violence going on in our country and do something to protect the citizens.
Steven Fortuna, Naperville
Republicans go scorched-earth on deficit
I agree with Republicans about the deficit. I have let my congressman and senators know this.
The trouble with Republicans is they don’t pursue deficits with the same fervor when they hold the Oval Office. That they use a scorched-earth policy when the debt ceiling arrives rather than real discussion about the budget, is troublesome. And after three years of COVID, and the inflation that it’s caused, we are in enough trouble as it is.
John Powers, Rolling Meadows
Republicans don’t get how governing works
Republicans do not understand that the basic principles of governing include compromise and majority rule. They want to force spending cuts now by holding the debt ceiling hostage, because they need to prove to their base that they are serious about spending cuts to Democrat-leaning programs. That is campaigning, not governing. They know that any spending cuts that they pass in the House will die in the Democrat-led Senate. That is majority rule.
What they do not seem to get is that these programs were passed already by a majority in both houses before they took over the House. They had such majorities in 2017 when they passed their massive tax cuts, a contributing factor to the current deficit. Why are Democrats not bringing this to the negotiating table? Why are they not demanding a return to pre-2017 income tax levels? Because they understand that this was passed when they were in the minority and had a president of the opposing party.
President Joe Biden should invoke the 14th Amendment that demands that “the validity of the public debt shall not be questioned.” The programs on the cutting table (food stamps, Medicaid, energy efficiency, etc.) were passed and he has a constitutional duty to enforce them.
Jan Goldberg, Riverside
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May 23, 2023 at 04:48PM