E-cigarettes cause harm, and higher taxes on them make sense

Recent studies destroy the myth that these products are helpful to those who want to quit smoking.

SHARE E-cigarettes cause harm, and higher taxes on them make sense
E-cigarette and vaping products on a store shelf.

E-cigarette and vaping products on a store shelf.

Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Upton Sinclair once said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” I usually cannot make it through my Sun-Times everyday without repeating those words, and recently it was in response to a letter to the editor from Rob Karr of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.

Mr. Karr implied he was very concerned that tobacco users in our state won’t be able to wean themselves from the product because of congressional action to impose higher taxes against e-cigarettes.

Karr seems to have completely missed recent studies that destroy the myth that these products are helpful in this regard and could just be described as “differently dangerous” when compared with traditional tobacco products. They are in no way “less harmful” as he states in his letter.

The irony is, members of his association are the very sellers of both of these dangerous products. If so inclined, which they clearly are not because profits are at stake, they could literally do more to wean the public off of tobacco use in one day — by refusing to sell the products — than e-cigarettes could ever do.

Don Anderson, Oak Park

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. We want to hear from our readers. To be considered for publication, letters must include your full name, your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be a maximum of approximately 350 words.

How to press criminal charges

From the Rittenhouse trial, one learns that reckless endangerment is the criminal offense of creating a substantial risk of injury or death to another person, whether intended or not. The endangerment is a felony when a deadly weapon is involved.

While Rittenhouse was acquitted of this charge at trial, the five gang members who shot up the streets in Austin last month walked free even though one of them was killed.

The Cook County state’s attorney’s office stated there was insufficient evidence to support felony charges for the Austin shoot-out.

Hopefully, the state’s attorney’s office had someone following the Rittenhouse trial to see how reckless endangerment is recognized and prosecuted, should gangs carry out another shoot-out.

William O’Neill, Near West Side

Talk is cheap on helping families

GOP Rep. Jim Jordan recently texted that the Republican Party is the “party of parents.”

This is merely more political posturing by the GOP; as the saying goes, “talk is cheap.”

Because when it came time to actually help parents and families, not one Republican voted for the expanded child tax credit, nor have any in the GOP supported federal paid family and/or medical leave. As another saying goes, “actions speak louder than words.”

Republicans, through their actions, not their words, have once again shown us who they really are. Let’s remember this when we vote.

Bob Chimis, Elmwood Park

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