To ban or not to ban: That is the question, isn’t it?
So we all seem to agree that the science against or for e-cigarettes is still in its infancy. At the same time, let us remember that it is not a very complicated system to test.
We are not talking about DNA gene-splicing or something complicated like that. The chemicals used in the e-cig are basic, and it would seem to me that if there was something inherently unhealthy about it, we would have had something definitive by now.
owever, I don’t think it matters, because at the end of the day, I don’t believe government will make its decision based on the science, but as it most often does, on politics.
Why do I say this? Take cigarettes, for example. They are banned from public parks and in most cities, but can any of us really say it is inherently unhealthy to the general public to be in the same park as a smoker? I have asthma and I am greatly bothered by smoke, but I am not bothered by smoke that is 5 feet away from me. Banning smoking in parks is not about a true health concern, but it is more about the politics of smoking in general.
Being for smoking bans right now is good politics. If it were really about clean air and health, we would ban automobiles from around Norris Park, because that, more than smoking, is of greater health consequence than an e-cig. I
know from personal experience how car exhaust affects me, even being 20 feet away. If it were truly about clean air, we would also require cars to be smogged, and we would ban the burning of trash and not allow people to use fireplaces.
Pollution from industry and automobiles harms more people than smoking, and especially the dry vapor of an e-cig. That is an undeniable fact. However, it is easier for government to use a minority of smokers to be the scapegoat of unhealthy living than to attack an entire state of drivers, coal producers, and fire-burning residents. Well, at least for now, it is.
Here is another fact to consider. If the ban goes into effect and the city gets its certification and money, can we honestly say we are a cleaner and healthier city, all of sudden?
Does Tahlequah, in one day, have rays of sunshine fall upon it from above, and all the cases of COPD, emphysema, asthma, et al, suddenly go away or decrease? No, this would be a silly notion to accept.
Banning vapor-producing e-cigs from our public parks will not help one smoker quit the habit and will not prevent a new person from becoming a smoker, but instead will just make it harder for current smokers to quit.
This certification may make many politicians, and those involved in SWAT, feel good about themselves because they are true believers of their cause and believe they must ban smoking and things that resemble smoking at all levels, despite the logic and science against their belief.
This ban will not help current smokers at all; it will just offend them all, and it will in some part harm them as well. This ordinance is more about city marketing, propaganda, and of course, money.
We also heard last week that we should err on the side of caution. How about taking a more logical approach and not err at all? I can understand the concern about indoor use of the e-cig, but I surely don’t accept or understand the banning of it at our outdoor city facilities, like our parks.
That is illogical when you consider all the other sources of pollution present in our city. Vapor from the e-cig is the least of them.
The other concern put forth was about children watching adults using these e-cigs at our parks and the chance of their being enticed into using them. This thinking also has flaws in logic, because those same adults will be using the devices with their own kids at home.
Those same adults will be “vaping” as they walk the sidewalks near the park, outside of grocery stores etc. Unless we allow the health police to ban it altogether in the public sphere, children will continue to see people smoke and “vape” both in life and on TV. What is the solution to this perceived problem? Good parenting, not bans.
The strange thing about this specific ban being proposed is that this is the first time I can think of that a local government is considering banning a legal product that is attempting to solve a public ill and has been shown to be successful at it.
Smoking and its unhealthy side effects is a huge cost and burden upon our society, and we have smart people apart from government funding coming up with real solutions. Why, oh why. are we talking about banning a product that is actually helping people quit this habit? That makes no logical sense.
“Hey. mom, what is that guy puffing out of his mouth?” “Son, that is a person trying to quit the nasty habit of smoking.”
People, there is tunnel vision going on in this debate. E-cigs are about helping people quit a bad habit. I have not heard anyone on either side of this debate dispute this fact. Why then are we talking about banning a positive tool in that fight? It brings us back to money, politics and propaganda.
At least, that is how it appears to me, but I am open to correction on this.
I don’t believe this issue really is about the science or lack thereof, but it is really about what is best for our citizens and what they want. Do our citizens want a ban? Would this ban help our citizens?
This is what I would be considering if I were mayor or on the city council. But I am not, so the ball is in our elected leaders’ court to decide.
You have heard the opposition loud and clear, and it was overwhelming against the ban. Now it is for our leaders to decide. I do thank our mayor for being the un-mayor in these matters and being open to this dialogue and debate in such a public way. I am impressed by his openness.
Al Soto is a Tahlequah businessman.
To ban or not to ban: That is the question, isn’t it?
‘Entitled’ N.J. teen needs a good round with parental ‘rod’
It’s a good thing State Superior Court Judge Peter Bogaard sits on the bench in Morristown, N.J., rather than Cherokee County. Had he been presiding here over the case occupying his time these days, he might have turned Rachel Canning over his knee and paddled her behind.
Rachel’s parents may have reason now to regret their child-rearing methods, because at least on the surface, the girl seems to be spoiled rotten – or as we sometimes say in these parts, “rotten as an Easter egg in August.”
Putin should be put in his place with isolation
Many Americans – especially in rural areas like Cherokee County – may shake their heads and comment on how these tensions half a world away can’t be good, but they don’t typically apply the potential consequences to their everyday lives. Yet the affects of Putin’s clampdown in the former Soviet country have already come home to roost.
Rewards programs a boon for business, and we have one, too
In case you haven’t heard, the Daily Press has also started a Reader Rewards program, which offers more than 20 “BOGO” (Buy One Get One) deals from local restaurants. Some are for free food, others for soft drinks, but if you’ve priced soft drinks lately, you know that will amount to substantial savings in the long run.
Legislation sanctioning discrimination is bad for business everywhere
Whether they know it or not, business owners are constantly completing transactions with criminals. If the entrepreneur is a highly religious person, it’s likely that a much higher percentage of his customers engage in behavior he would consider morally reprehensible. So if a half-dozen states are going to pass laws sanctioning discrimination against gays on religious grounds, why stop there? Why not include all the other “sinners” in the mix?
Diminutive bicycle markings were a waste of money
If the work had been sufficient for its intended purpose, some people might not have felt the price was too high. But the stenciled markings are too small to be seen from passing vehicles, so the message to be mindful of cyclists will go largely unnoticed.
In a literal sense, the city just tossed $9,000 out into the street, because the markings will have to be redone.
City councilors should take action instead of sitting silent on issues
Tuesday marked Rountree’s second appearance before the council in as many months, and despite his pleas, it was obvious most council members weren’t interested in letting part of the city slip from its boundaries.
Both Rountree and the council had valid ideas – and some, not so valid – about the impact of deannexation, but when it came time for a motion on Rountree’s proposal, only Ward 1 Councilor Diane Weston had the fortitude to take some form of action.
NBC interviewer’s crass behavior embarrassing to media professionals
Just because an individual is an acknowledged expert in a particular field doesn’t mean he is qualified to serve as a media correspondent.
True, a few professional football players have made the transition to sportscaster, and Olympic athletes have written books that topped the bestseller list. And it’s common during sporting events for networks to use athletes as sources or color commentators. But the boorish behavior NBC “correspondent” Christin Cooper exhibited during an interview with Olympic alpine ski racer Bode Miller stands as stark proof that prowess on the slopes doesn’t necessarily translate into skill as an interviewer.
Eliminating legal notice publication in papers a disservice to taxpayers
Every few years, a state legislator tries to nullify the long-standing requirement to publish county legal notices in newspapers. Advocates point out how much time and money counties can save if they don’t have to publish a synopsis of their activities, and hint the windfall could be used to buy a new road grader and hire an employee to drive it.
But they never mention that mandatory printing of legal notices is the only direct and reliable way the public can hold elected officials accountable. And as any long-term Oklahoma resident can attest, transparency is critical when it comes to the state’s 231 county commissioners.
Energy companies shouldn't demand permanent tax breaks
Recently, media reports from Tulsa sources revealed that tax breaks for Oklahoma’s energy production sector will cost the state $307 million in 2014, with another $304 million hit set for 2015. The anticipated budget shortfall is around half of the sum Oklahoma parcels out in tax breaks for oil and gas companies.
When there’s ice on the road, slow down – and stay home if you can
It may be a couple more months before reliably decent weather returns to Cherokee County, and for many of us, it can’t happen soon enough.
But since we have no control over Mother Nature, the best we can do is adjust our schedules and habits to conform to its quirks. That means when ice and snow are on the streets and highways as they’ve been this week, drivers have to slow down, keep an eye on fellow travelers, and make sure their vehicles are equipped to handle the hazard.
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