The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Z_CNHI News Service

November 1, 2013

EDITORIALS: NSA's embarrassment; Anti-smoking laws

(Continued)

So tapping phones may backfire badly on the United States. In terms of intelligence gathering, that can’t be very smart.

-----------------------------------

Anti-tobacco laws are just blowing smoke

The Joplin, Mo., Globe

The New York City Council voted overwhelmingly this week to bar smokers younger than 21 from buying cigarettes, other tobacco products and even electronic-vapor smokes in the Big Apple.

A councilman quoted by The Associated Press said he believes this will save many lives, and other parts of the country are looking at similar laws to set higher age minimums for tobacco sales.

Efforts to deter young people from smoking are commendable, but this law will do little to solve the problem of nicotine addiction among youth.  According to the American Lung Association, most smokers try their first cigarette around age 11. Seventy percent of adult smokers started before they turned 18, and many were addicted by age 14.

If America wants to keep children and teenagers from smoking, current laws must be enforced, and those who sell to minors must be prosecuted.

In addition, aggressive education must start at early ages. Money is available for that through the 1998 settlement of lawsuits against tobacco companies. The problem is many states are not living up to their end of the deal.

According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, states will collect $24.7 billion from tobacco settle­ment money and taxes. They will spend only 1.8 percent of it on prevention aimed at keeping children from smoking.

Just as legislators fail to spend the settlement money appropriately, they now offer laws that are not aimed at solving the problem of tobacco addiction be­fore it starts. Our children are paying for this indifference.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Z_CNHI News Service
  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo