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Sorry, Mr. Sullum, but there are better ways to quit smoking than turning to e-cigarettes

And the best harm-reducing alternative to smoking, of course, is simply not smoking.

A man exhales vapor from an e-cigarette
AP Photos

Note to Jacob Sullum. Despite what you wrote in your column this week, e-cigarettes are not at all the “most important harm-reducing alternative to smoking ever developed.” There are multiple nicotine delivery methods that pose less harm than vaping, which puts them above e-cigs.

Of course, the actual most important harm-reducing alternative to smoking is not smoking, something that there is very little evidence these devices help with because they are not “not smoking” but “differently smoking.” And with the push into the e-cigarette market by the major tobacco producers, it is obvious Sullum is engaged in his well-worn tactic of supporting monied corporate interests to the detriment of our citizens, all under the guise of “smaller government.”

Don Anderson, Oak Park

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Blame pandemic for Downstate ICU shortages

I understand the concern regarding the lack of hospital ICU beds in Southern Illinois, but is the question really — as another Sun-Times reader wrote — that “hospital workers prefer urban areas?” Come on now, our medical professionals are based in all types of urban and rural areas, and I can bet they all share one common denominator — they want to help people in the places they choose to live.

I have a feeling there are so few available ICU beds in Southern Illinois simply because the need was never so great before. This is the first time, in our lifetimes, that we are dealing with a pandemic. So let’s not continue this rhetoric of blaming someone else for people dying of COVID-19. Maybe we should be trying to help those who don’t want the vaccine to understand that getting the shot is the safest way out of this terrible health crisis.

Suanne Tompkinson, Geneva