Letter about too many lanterns…
To the Editor,
Relay for Life 2023 was held in Fountain on July 28. Around here we show up and offer support after diagnoses of cancer. Most of us have connections to the uncertainties, suffering, and pain of cancer.
Looking around the long oval walking track that was lit by lanterns on both sides, my friend said, “Too many lanterns.”
Yes, too many preventable deaths from cancer, especially the 1/3 caused by tobacco use.
Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Minnesota. If used as intended, cigarettes will kill more than 1/2 of their users.
To replace those dying customers, the tobacco industry continues to aggressively market flavored vapes that are appealing to kids, with sky-high nicotine levels in order to hook the users.
Those flavored products are a key reason Minnesota is facing a youth epidemic of addiction. Four in five Minnesota students (78.4%) reported that the first tobacco product they ever tried was flavored.
We adults can do more than shake our heads or “be concerned.”
We can restrict sales of flavored tobacco products in our towns to show that we care about our kids and their chances for a healthy future.
For a change, we can show up to prevent cancer.
Bonita A. Underbakke