Tobacco 21 for Ohio

I was surprised and thankful to hear that so many Ohioans live in communities that have raised the minimum age of tobacco sales to 21 years old. But I had to wonder — why hasn’t the entire state followed their lead?

We all know that tobacco products lead to a lifetime of deadly addiction and that the tobacco industry targets young people to buy their products. But if we can keep kids from picking up tobacco before they turn 21, they will be less likely to begin an addiction later in life. In fact, the National Institute of Medicine estimates that raising the national minimum age of tobacco sales to 21 years old would reduce smoking initiation by as much as 25 percent for 15-year-olds to 17-year-olds.

Raising the age of sale to 21, along with a comprehensive tobacco control strategy including fully funding Ohio’s tobacco prevention and cessation programs and regular and significant tobacco tax increases, gives Ohio the opportunity to reduce tobacco use in our state.

With Ohio’s above-average high school smoking rate, just think about how many lives we could save. So many young people are beginning tobacco addictions before they even have a chance to grow up. It’s time for our entire state to prioritize youth health and raise the minimum age of tobacco sales.

Sen. Kristina Roegner, and all of our state senators, please support efforts currently underway to raise the minimum age of sale to 21 years old. Our schools, families and communities need to know you’re on their side.

Pam Manges, Wooster

 

Concealed carry mistake

I’m sorry, but Republicans have gone too far this time. They want to pass a law for just about anyone to carry a concealed weapon with no permit or background check. What BS. What’s next, nobody needs a driver's license or driver's training? You turn 18 and just jump in a car and go? Sounds stupid, does it not?

I have a concealed carry permit and went through the training and background check. I was also trained in the use of firearms in the U.S. Army. The training teaches us how to properly use a firearm, safely, and the background checks are supposed to weed out people that should not have a firearm, although they should be more thorough about it. This has to be the dumbest bill Republicans have put forth yet, not that Democrats have done much better. Wish we could fire them all and start fresh.

John C. Stouffer Jr., Akron

 

Hillary still crying

Three years after, Hillary Clinton is still crying that the election was stolen.

Hillary Clinton complaining is just another example of why she should never, ever have been elected.

Russell Milicia, Streetsboro

 

Endangered species support

I am writing in support of the Endangered Species Act, and in opposition to efforts by Congress to undermine this landmark wildlife conservation law.

The Endangered Species Act is a safety net for fish, plants and wildlife on the brink of extinction. Since President Nixon signed the law in 1973, hundreds of species have been saved from disappearing forever, including the American bald eagle, the peregrine falcon and the American alligator, and many more are on their way to recovery.

But now, some members of Congress are trying to weaken the Endangered Species Act to benefit developers and the oil and gas industry.

Protecting endangered species is important. We have a responsibility to future generations to be good stewards and protect imperiled wildlife and the special places they call home. Our senators must oppose efforts to weaken the Endangered Species Act.

Thomas Marziale, Akron