Reducing youth access to e-cigarettes is good policy

February 21, 2019

As a pediatrician who cares for children in Santa Fe and throughout New Mexico, I applaud Dr. Barry Ramo’s op-ed piece concerning e-cigarettes (“E-cigarettes are addicting teens to nicotine,” My View, Feb. 10). The American Academy of Pediatrics in its February policy statement, “E-Cigarettes and Similar Devices,” notes that e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among youth. The 2016 U.S. surgeon general’s report on e-cigarette use among youth and young adults concluded that e-cigarettes are unsafe for children and adolescents.

There is strong evidence that children and adolescents who use e-cigarettes are more significantly likely to go on to use traditional cigarettes — a product that kills half its long-term users. Thus, pediatricians throughout New Mexico are in support of the multiple bills in both the House and Senate that reduce youth access to e-cigarettes. This should include: banning the sale of e-cigarettes to individuals younger than 21 years; banning all flavors in e-cigarettes; taxing e-cigarette at rates compatible to conventional cigarettes; and incorporating e-cigarettes into tobacco-free laws and ordinances such as the New Mexico Clean Indoor Air Act. Let us make New Mexico healthier for our children and youth.

Dr. Laurence Shandler, FAAP

Santa Fe

Not this way

The Santa Fe Public Schools is promoting the 2019 education technology note election, the first mail-only election in local history. If we voters approve the 1.5 mill tax, it will bring in $11 million a year for five years (“School tax vote will be first local election by mail,” Jan. 28).

Approximately half of these funds would be used to purchase take-home Chromebook computers for every student in seventh through 12th grades. In 2016, the school board approved tax-provided computers for this same group of students. What happened to all of those computers? I suspect many are broken down, stolen or in some way defunct. Are taxpayers responsible for purchasing new computers every three to five years?

The district says taxes won’t be increased, but what they don’t say is if this fails, taxes will go down. I am all for supporting Santa Fe Public Schools, just not this way.

Gabrilla Hoeglund

Santa Fe

Existential struggle

I want to thank the Lannan Foundation for the wide range of speakers offered to the Santa Fe community. I have long wondered why no time is offered for questions and response. I feel it robs the community of open discourse on the central issues of our time. This has been particularly apparent when it comes to the questions of Palestinian-Israeli relations, which I see as a sad affair for both sides. I fail to see what is gained by giving a platform to anti-Israel speakers and yet not having an opportunity to question their assumptions and conclusions. Personally, I suffer for and with each side, but blame alone will take us no further and seems only to confirm one’s biases. My belief is that the Lannan Foundation owes the Santa Fe community a more balanced presentation, especially when both sides feel they are locked into an existential survival struggle.

Zev Guber

Santa Fe

Green dream

For some, the idea of the Green New Deal is but a green dream, a fantasy with little connection to the real world of politics. For me, the Green New Deal is the most radical and realistic response to the climate disruptions that I have seen. It is a vision, not a plan.

If you believe in science and if you have reviewed the most recent studies of the top climate scientists in the world, we are on a collision course with ourselves. The warnings could get no more dire. I am grateful to live in the awakening state of New Mexico, where true leadership is being shown on climate-driven legislation and executive orders.

There are mountains of reasons we will not meet the challenge. The Green New Deal might be just the dream we need to prevent the nightmare I see coming.

John McLeod

Las Vegas, N.M.

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