Several letters and comments about those [tobacco] ads deserve a response from the publisher and we all appreciate that one was provided ("About Those Ads," Feb. 4). But the "business is business" attitude of the publisher ignores a root cause of ill health in our community. As someone actively engaged in addressing the roots of addiction, I suggest that the response misses the mark.
The fact that it seems normal to smoke addictive and dangerous chemicals is no accident. According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the tobacco industry spends nearly $1 million an hour marketing and promoting their deadly products.
Most of that money keeps nicotine addiction affordable — it does not enrich local business. The expenditure is a price mark-down that keeps people hooked. When nicotine addiction is pervasive, the community member who asks for a smoke-free park, smoke-free air in their apartment, healthy choices at local stores or pharmacies that don't also sell tobacco becomes the exception.
Tobacco-Free North Coast is working to shift the balance of power away from global tobacco companies to favor what people really want — a healthy future free from chemical dependency. Policies that make it harder for tobacco companies to practice business as usual protect people from secondhand smoke and help smokers quit.
Preventing addiction starts at the local level. Your smoke-free community, such as it is, was fought for one town at a time by local projects and local people. Join us and take a stand for a healthy community that won't do business with tobacco giants. Check out Tobacco-Free North Coast on the web and like us on Facebook. Stay informed and stay active. A healthy community is possible.
Jay McCubbrey, Eureka