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Monday, July 7, 2014

Keep the pressure on tobacco companies

Letter to the Editor

With the recent death of baseball great Tony Gwynn, at age 54 from cancer related to “spit” smokeless tobacco; Bow High school graduates pictured in the New Hampshire Union Leader with celebratory cigars, and Beverly lacrosse players with cigars on school property not to mention the continued exponential rise of “e-cigarette” use among kids, we at the Tobacco Free NH network will continue to advocate for prevention of tobacco product use, especially among our youth.

“Big Tobacco” is using the same glamour, health, “cool” ads as in the 1950’s, but with new flavors – chocolate, pina colada, and other kid-friendly flavors – to hook the next generation of tobacco users. But with public health tools that have been proven to work, “elimination in a generation” of tobacco use (still the No. 1 preventable cause of death in the U.S.) is still possible. We just need the political will to raise tobacco taxes on all tobacco products and, as we did with cigarettes, keep all tobacco products from use by minors. ...

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With the recent death of baseball great Tony Gwynn, at age 54 from cancer related to “spit” smokeless tobacco; Bow High school graduates pictured in the New Hampshire Union Leader with celebratory cigars, and Beverly lacrosse players with cigars on school property not to mention the continued exponential rise of “e-cigarette” use among kids, we at the Tobacco Free NH network will continue to advocate for prevention of tobacco product use, especially among our youth.

“Big Tobacco” is using the same glamour, health, “cool” ads as in the 1950’s, but with new flavors – chocolate, pina colada, and other kid-friendly flavors – to hook the next generation of tobacco users. But with public health tools that have been proven to work, “elimination in a generation” of tobacco use (still the No. 1 preventable cause of death in the U.S.) is still possible. We just need the political will to raise tobacco taxes on all tobacco products and, as we did with cigarettes, keep all tobacco products from use by minors.

Albee Budnitz, MD

Nashua