South Carolina lawmakers need to put the health of our residents first by banning flavors in e-cigarettes. Right now, teenagers and adults in the Palmetto State smoke more than the national average. In addition, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and puts smokers at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke.
Adolescents’ use of e-cigarettes, nicotine vapor devices, hookahs and small cigars has risen dramatically, threatening to erase decades of progress. Right now, 25,000 teenagers are using e-cigarettes in South Carolina.
With their colorful packaging and sweet, candy flavors, today’s flavored tobacco products are often hard to distinguish from the candy displays near which they are frequently placed in convenience stores. Because of the addictive nature of nicotine, experimentation with such products among youths and young adults is particularly troubling. This is a critical period for growth and development when the brain is especially susceptible and sensitive to the effects of nicotine. Studies have shown that e-cigarette use can lead to other forms of addiction. Evidence also shows that the younger a user starts smoking, the more likely he or she is to be a smoker for life.
As representatives of the American Heart Association, we believe banning the sale of flavors in e-cigarettes would reduce youth access to all nicotine products and their use. The ban also would significantly increase overall life expectancy and reduce health care costs. This crucial step is needed to continue building a healthier community.
American Heart Association Board Chair
American Heart Association
Johnnie Dodds Boulevard
As we approach the 30th anniversary of Hurricane Hugo and as we recover from Hurricane Dorian, it is a good time to stop and reflect on why Dorian or any impending hurricane threat is made into a big deal.
When Hugo hit the Lowcountry on Sept. 21-22, 1989, it was catastrophic to say the least. Thousands of people were left without power for days on end. Price gouging was rampant, as ice and gasoline were scarce, and supply trucks had great difficulty making deliveries.
I was a teenager at the time, but I will never forget the chaos and frustration many people felt.
My father ran a building supply store and worked endlessly without power to get much-needed lumber and other roofing materials to people while trying to make repairs to his shop.
Even though the days were long and hard, I could see a new sense of community developing among neighbors.
Whenever I hear people complain and question the need to evacuate or make preparations for the storm, I and others who lived through the Hugo era understand how devastating a hurricane can be.
This is why I feel it is my responsibility and that of others who were around for Hugo to share their stories with young people or those who have recently moved here and may be unfamiliar with such storms.
I also encourage those who may not remember Hugo to go online and see some of the pictures of the effects Hugo had on many parts of the Lowcountry.
Preparation, attentiveness and a strong dose of common sense are needed when it comes to dealing with a hurricane. That’s all a part of the lessons and legacy of Hurricane Hugo.
I read with a mixture of admiration and sadness the splendid Post and Courier feature on the dilemma facing the Santee Delta.
I admired the articles because they clearly illustrated why the unblemished delta is as important as it is. I was saddened at the thought that such a place could be defiled to suit the needs of expediency.
I worked on the delta for more than two decades, patrolling its rivers and its many creeks, rice fields, islands and woodlands. I shared the experience with a variety of people from every age group and state of grace, being rewarded by their continuous amazement and absorption in the landscape and uninterrupted horizon.
Now come the vandals in the form of utility companies whose cultural vision is for every view corridor to have massive poles and wires as their focal point.
Rather than trying to be gentle on this wonderful landscape, they want to make it easy on themselves and deface an important part of our coastline by building in a straight line for all to see, regardless of public sentiment.
This insult to the people of South Carolina should never be allowed to happen, and all good people who value our open coastal views should loudly protest any further continuation of this unfortunate scheme.
BEN McC. MOISE