To the Editor: Choosing kids over Big Tobacco 



To the Editor: 

As a registered nurse, I have cared for many individuals who were dying from tobacco-related illnesses and counseled many who struggled with addictions that dominated their lives. Now as a grandmother, I am keenly aware of the need to give our kids a fair shot at a healthy life free from tobacco addiction.  

Right now we have a crucial choice to make: to protect our kids or not protect our kids from a clear and present danger. That danger is flavored tobacco products, developed by the devious tobacco industry, to lure and hook our youth and young adults into lifetimes of addiction.   

Big Tobacco, faced with the loss of revenue from a previous decline in youth and adult tobacco use, now markets an array of enticing products that come in flavors that hook kids. These products, with names like Fruity Pebbles, Fizzy Lemonade, and Gummi Bear, are primarily used by youth and young adults and not, as the tobacco industry maintains, adult smokers trying to quit. This is reflected in the fact that 8 out of 10 high schoolers who use e-cigarettes use flavored e-cigarettes. To make matters worse, it has been found that young people who use e-cigarettes are four times more likely of making the switch to traditional cigarettes than their non-vaping peers.  

Every moment we delay, our youth are easy prey to the traps being set for them. As a retired nurse and grandmother, I am calling on Governor Mills and our state legislators to take swift and direct action to protect Maine kids by ending the sale of flavored tobacco products, and I encourage my fellow Islanders and Mainers to do the same.  

Let’s choose our kids, not Big Tobacco.  

Catherine H. Richardson 

Mount Desert 

 

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