Oppose bills limiting local vaping control

I am writing to express my opposition to two current bills that, if passed, could have devastating effects on the health of teens and youth across Tennessee.

House Bill 705/Senate Bill 1047 serve to protect the tobacco industry's bottom line with zero regard for what is in the best interest of our community. These bills would prohibit all future vaping laws and stop our ability to take local protective action.

Can you imagine local governments being forbidden to regulate the sale and marketing of flavored tobacco products, to increase taxes on e-cigarettes, and to adopt licensure laws for tobacco retailers that sell e-cigarettes? Furthermore, the passage of these bills would perpetuate practices that disproportionately target low-income communities and at-risk youth — further aggravating health disparities.

As a father of grown children and a heart disease survivor, I find it alarming youth tobacco use rates continue to rise. We made incredible progress on teen tobacco use, but it has been diminished due to the accessibility of vaping products.

Ask your legislators to take action and vote no on House Bill 705/Senate Bill 1047 today!

Chris Hopkins

American Heart Association board member


Made up her mind about Joe Biden

It's difficult for me to decide whether Joe Biden is stupid or venal. Consider:

He stopped the XL Pipeline, contributing to the U.S.'s energy dependence.

He opened the border, resulting in unaccompanied minors being abused at the hands of the coyotes bringing them here.

He pushed for electric cars, resulting in our dependence upon China for the batteries to run them.

And now he intends to raise taxes and says that higher taxes will cause the economy to boom. Higher taxes take money from our pockets and reduce our spending power, slowing the economy. Even if those higher taxes are intended to fund infrastructure projects, the money goes through the coffers of the bureaucracy where some of the funds "disappear." This is Economics 101.

Oh, I've made up my mind about Biden. I'm going for stupid.

Beverly Richards

Trenton, Georgia


Says Tennesseans accept status quo

It is interesting to note the difference between our current state and federal governments. Recent laws passed in the state of Tennessee have to do with anti-abortion, anti-transgender parents pulling their children from classes dealing with LGBT issues, and guns. None of those have a major effect on Tennesseans as a whole. They don't create jobs, don't affect the health and safety of the majority of Tennesseans; they are primarily feel-good measures for the Republican base.

Meanwhile, the federal government has passed a bill that has a direct, positive effect on most Americans. Its actions and proposed actions are designed to rebuild the middle class that has been reduced for the past generation or longer.

Tennesseans are doing themselves a disservice by continuing to accept the status quo.

Gary Stoegbauer