Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

October 20, 2013

Oct. 20, 2013: Letters to the editor

Kokomo Tribune

---- — Ads effective in tobacco deterence

Reducing tobacco use is one of the most important things we can do to improve the health of Hoosiers. Education campaigns to alert of the danger of tobacco use are critical, as are pointing them to resources to help them quit. Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the first ever national tobacco education ad campaign “Tips from Former Smokers” that depicts the harsh reality of illness and damage people suffer as a result of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. In these ads, former smokers bravely expose their smoking-related disabilities. These are powerful, hard hitting, emotional ads that made a difference. Sadly, Terrie Hall, the North Carolina woman featured prominently in the ads, lost the battle with her smoking-related cancer last month.

Nationally, 1.6 million smokers attempted to quit smoking thanks to the Tips from Former Smokers media campaign, and 200,000 Americans had quit smoking immediately following the campaign. Almost 80 percent of smokers and almost 75 percent of nonsmokers recalled seeing at least one of the ads during the three-month campaign. The campaign is estimated to have saved a year of life for less than $200, making it one of the most cost-effective prevention efforts.

Here in Indiana, calls to the Indiana Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, doubled when the ads were on air. The more we can get Hoosier smokers to try to quit, the more likely we can help them quit for good. These ads helped tobacco users take that step in quitting and direct them to a proven resource to help.

Nearly 9,700 Hoosiers die from smoking-related diseases every year, leaving behind families, friends and loved ones. At the same time, each year 8,200 Hoosiers under the age of 18 become daily smokers.

The tobacco industry spends $271 million in Indiana to market and promote their products, making smoking more attractive and more available, especially to youth and young adults.

We must address tobacco use for what it really is — an addiction that each year costs thousands of Hoosiers’ lives and more than $4 billion in health care costs and lost productivity. Bringing these messages to the public is vital if we intend to save Hoosiers from the devastation of more tobacco-related death and disease. Let’s use these hard learned lessons to end the devastating and unnecessary legacy of tobacco use in Indiana.

William VanNess, M.D.

State healthcommissioner

How can justicesreally review ACA?

I wonder when, if at all, the U.S. Supreme Court will plan to revisit its decision on the Affordable Care Act.

One can rightly conclude that a Supreme Court decision is a result of careful study of a specific issue, a study that results from a careful review of said issue.

However, as I pointed out in a previous Sound Off, the ACA runs some 20,000-plus pages in length. I challenge anybody to explain how one or all of our nine justices could have reviewed the ACA in depth yet reached the decision they did, to come up with the opinion that it is constitutional.

Kenneth Crockett


The tea party is ‘dangerous’ for U.S.

Last year, I wrote a letter that was published by your newspaper. I took a lot of heat because I made the comment that the tea party is dangerous for our country. I mentioned that several parties that started out sounding good in Nazi Germany resulted in one ending up in Hitler’s control.

I will repeat again: The tea party is dangerous for America! We are beginning to see this now, so I rest my case!

Garrett W. Floyd