Cook County ban on flavored e-cigarettes should include menthol, mint

Banning flavored e-cigarettes is a good start to protecting public health, but the ban should be comprehensive and include menthol and mint flavors.

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Flavored vaping products containing nicotine are seen in a Los Angeles store in 2019.

Flavored vaping products containing nicotine are seen in a Los Angeles store in 2019.

Robyn Beck/Getty

We are pleased about the efforts of the Cook County Board and Commissioner Donna Miller to reduce the harms of flavored electronic cigarettes and vaping products, but we believe the amendment to the ordinance does not go far enough. To truly make a difference and protect the lives of residents of unincorporated Cook County, the amendment must include all tobacco products in all flavors, including mint and menthol.

We already know that candy, dessert, and fruit flavors increase the appeal of tobacco to teens and youth. But menthol is also a serious gateway for adult smoking, and a comprehensive ban on flavored tobacco products that includes mint and menthol flavoring characteristics is critical.

Banning flavored e-cigarettes is a good start to protecting public health, but if the ban is not comprehensive, many people will continue to suffer the ever-widening health disparities present in portions of unincorporated Cook County.

Kelly Nichols, senior manager, policy and advocacy, Respiratory Health Association

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Pay attention to gun violence, not AM radio

I see that our politicians in Washington, D.C. are up in arms about passing legislation to require auto manufacturers to put AM radios in cars under the umbrella of protecting consumers.

I wish they would listen to all the gun violence going on in our country and do something to protect the citizens.

Steven Fortuna, Naperville

Republicans go scorched-earth on deficit

I agree with Republicans about the deficit. I have let my congressman and senators know this.

The trouble with Republicans is they don’t pursue deficits with the same fervor when they hold the Oval Office. That they use a scorched-earth policy when the debt ceiling arrives rather than real discussion about the budget, is troublesome. And after three years of COVID, and the inflation that it’s caused, we are in enough trouble as it is.

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