It is alarming to see a full-page ad for tobacco in the North Coast Journal (Jan. 14). This shows us that the Journal may be in financial trouble, and big tobacco companies see the Journal and our entire community as a prime target for marketing their addictive and deadly products.
The proof is in the data; vulnerable communities of color, low income and rural areas suffer higher rates of tobacco-related illness and death as a result of tobacco marketing and promotion. I think we can do better, don't you?
Unfortunately, one can easily imagine Eureka and other towns in Humboldt degrading to a town with a tobacco store on every corner, where it is easier to find fruit-flavored tobacco than fresh fruit.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, perhaps, but we must object to the North Coast Journal's submission to big tobacco. As a community, will we also submit to the merchants of death?
Jay McCubbrey, Eureka
Has the NCJ finally gone off the rails or what? I was totally shocked to open the Jan. 14 issue and see a full page Lucky Strike ad! What the hell — is that even legal!? Times must really be tough for the NCJ to stoop to advertising tobacco. I know there's lots of marijuana ads but at least it's local and doesn't appear to be as physically destructive as tobacco. I think the NCJ owes its loyal readership an explanation for this disgusting advertisement.
Martin Smukler, McKinleyville
I was really surprised when I opened this week's North Coast Journal and saw a full page ad for Lucky Strike cigarettes. We're in the middle of a lung-ravaging pandemic just after one of the worst fire seasons in our history. Breathing outside was so dangerous that many of us couldn't leave our homes. And now the NCJ is encouraging readers to smoke more cigarettes?
If you talk to smokers, eight out of 10 are trying to quit. Especially when they find out that smoking depresses their immune systems so doubles their chances of catching COVID-19, and then doubles their chances of having a much worse case.
I truly sympathize. It can't be easy to raise ad revenue during a pandemic. But aren't there limits? Would you accept ads from assault weapon dealers, oil and gas industry climate-change deniers or other similarly-destructive products or ideas? Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths a year in the U.S., including deaths from secondhand smoke.
As the saying goes, cigarettes are one of the few legal products that, when used as directed by the manufacturer, will kill you. The tobacco industry needs to normalize the selling of their deadly products and one way they can accomplish that is to associate themselves with reputable, highly-regarded, community-based businesses like the North Coast Journal. Please don't sell out to them. It's not worth it.
I've been meaning to subscribe to the NCJ for awhile and I got my pandemic stimulus payment card in the mail last week. I'll use $39 of it to subscribe to the North Coast Journal. I hope that will help.
Lin Glen, Blue Lake