Tobacco is the terror no one speaks of |

Tobacco is the terror no one speaks of

Kenneth G. Eielson II

Dear Editor,

I read many letters that discuss the Iraq situation and terror generally, yet I have not seen any discussion of the local terror that continues to be perpetrated upon our community by the tobacco industry and its local representatives, including stores that continue to make tobacco available to our youth. Why does a food store sell tobacco products?

Approximately 3,000 young people start using tobacco products every day, and a majority of these users will never realize their full potential in life due to tobacco illnesses. About 400,000 people die every year from tobacco-related exposure, more than from AIDS, overdoses, murder, suicides and car accidents. It is the most preventable disease.

Early experimentation with tobacco products may be a gateway to further substance abuse issues. It is not a harmless childhood experiment. Go ask any smoker. Nine out of 10 will say that they want to stop and have tried repeatedly, but still cannot.

Fortunately we live in a community where there is a focus on health and wellness, yet we must wear it proudly and discuss it openly. Every smoker and nonsmoker deserves to have a tobacco-free life.

Please use our local resources, health care practitioners, doctors and therapists to address tobacco use and dependence. Even the use of three cigarettes can have the beginnings of later consequences.

In wellness for life,

Kenneth G. Eielson II

Glenwood Springs

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