Vaping New York (copy)

Vaping and e-cigarettes have come under fire recently for health and qualify of life issues.

S.C. Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston, plans to introduce a bill in January that may help change vaping laws by prohibiting the sale of such products statewide.

This would help to keep vape pens and e-cigarettes out of the hands of young people.

Vaping has recently come under fire for health and quality of life issues, including nicotine addiction, breathing problems and heart issues.

Federal and state officials have reported hundreds of cases of severe lung problems and at least 33 deaths linked to vaping.

We should wholeheartedly support Rep. Gilliard’s push to ban vaping in South Carolina.

I grew up during a time when cigarette sales were high and major corporations promoted them, including the “Joe Camel” advertisements.

Smoking, cigarettes and tobacco products cause more than 7 million deaths each year worldwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Though cigarette commercials were banned from television and radio in 1970, people are still suffering.

Ads for JUUL vaping pens and Blu e-cigarettes are trying to fill the spot of cigarettes. We need to stop it before it gets to a point of no return, and we need to stop it now for the sake of our children.

SHELDON RICE

Traditions Circle

Columbia

Elijah Cummings

On Oct. 17, our country lost U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, a man of true integrity, dedicated to his constituents and the entire nation.

His tireless work in Congress was admired by many, Democrats and Republicans alike.

Powerful Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings has died

He didn’t hesitate to work across the aisle to make our government work better for all of us. In a time when our Constitution is being tested by many, we can look to him as an example of true patriotism.

May he rest in peace.

JEANNE WOODS

Barfield Street

Daniel Island

Political situation

In our political discourse, we increasingly treat those with whom we disagree with contempt. We look for fault or weakness, rather than listen for nuance, possible good, or facts of the situation.

The reasons are complicated. We often tend not to be open-minded or objective, or we look past the facts and accept the narrative that fits our point of view. We voice our opinions via social media, rather than face-to-face in real social interactions.

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Speaking as a doctor, these behaviors are dangerous when caring for patients. Most clinical situations are complex because biological systems are sophisticated and interdependent.

Caring for patients takes a comprehensive and disciplined approach. I was taught to listen to the patient carefully when taking a medical history, then perform a thorough exam and correlate the history and physical findings with the lab and X-rays.

Finally, I was to develop a diagnosis and treatment recommendation. Discussing the diagnosis and treatment with the patient directly, honestly and with empathy is essential for a good outcome.

These principles of medicine provide some guidance for our political discourse. A handful of principles include:

• carefully listening to each other;

• assessing the facts objectively;

• speaking directly and honestly; and

• treating each other with respect and empathy.

Adhering to these principles used in medicine might advance our political discourse because politics, like medicine, is complicated.

RICHARD HOEFER

Prioleau Street

Charleston

Fix failing schools

While I greatly appreciate the concern over admission standards at Academic Magnet High School and agree that something must be done to diversify the student body, I want to know why more attention isn’t paid to failing schools in Charleston County. It is past time to make them a priority. It’s an emergency.

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If we were doing what needs to done at failing elementary and middle schools, there would be no need to regulate the number of home-schooled and private-school children going to Academic Magnet.

If we were doing what needs to be done in those schools, the candidates for the Academic Magnet School would look more like the rest of the county.

Start at the beginning. Re-examine priorities and fix our failing elementary and middle schools first.

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FRANCES GLANVILLE

Savannah Highway

Adams Run

Road use

We do not have a road capacity problem in the Lowcountry, we have a use problem.

Adding capacity is a green light for people to move farther from their work in search of more affordable housing and other perceived benefits.

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Stop telling us to ignore alternatives and to continue using 4,000-pound vehicles to transport a single, 200-pound person.

This is so inefficient that in any other application, it would be laughed at and not even considered.

If we insist on accommodating and encouraging this behavior, the situation will never improve. Have we lost our ability to think and reason?

MARTIN BLANCHARD

Turner Street

North Charleston

Colonial Lake

The drive along Lockwood Drive to Broad Street leads vehicles right past Colonial Lake, which looks like a jungle.

Who is responsible for maintaining the area around the lake? Plenty of trees and flowers have been planted, but apparently no one is taking care of them.

I grew up in Charleston, and the lake was always a great place to go. Some might remember the trolley car parades around there. But now, you can barely see the lake with all the overgrown greenery.

Please clean up Colonial Lake and return it to a well-maintained, safe place for locals and tourists alike to enjoy year around.

ELLEN BECKMAN

Beechcraft Street

Charleston