Your Views for February 12

Tobacco prohibition

Step-wise, tobacco prohibition is in works in the Hawaii state Legislature (Tribune-Herald, Feb. 10).

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Rep. Richard Creagan wants to raise the legal age for smoking tobacco from 21 to 25. Age 21 is the recognized adult age for most activities of self-determination, including voting and drinking alcohol, and joining the military to kill people in war can be done at 18.

Adult-age people are considered responsible to make decisions about personal risk for themselves, such as refusing cancer chemotherapy, doctors’ orders notwithstanding.

Dr. Creagan is to be commended for being honest in stating that his ultimate goal is complete tobacco prohibition statewide and for all ages. He points to tried and failed early 1900s tobacco prohibition laws in a number of the states of the United States.

Should the current ease-it-in movement starting a tobacco ban on young adults of age go forward, we can expect to see the same kinds of results that came with alcohol prohibition and led to its repeal, again in the early 1900s.

Tobacco and other nicotine-producing plants can be grown in the back yard and prepared for smoking leaf or extracted for nicotine vaping. With tobacco products and smoking banned, people will turn in greater numbers to vaping, because it can be done surreptitiously. The illegal nicotine market will have all the current vaping problems of toxic additives and unexpected strange psychoactive compounds coming from underground laboratories.

Smoking and vaping will not go away. Like the bathtub gins of yesteryear’s alcohol prohibition, it will become an organized criminal enterprise. Wasn’t this a lesson learned 100 years ago? Isn’t education of children and adults about the highly addictive properties of nicotine and the adverse pulmonary effects of smoking a better answer?

William Mautz

Kurtistown

Not so simple

I was surprised by the cartoon that appeared in Sunday’s paper (Tribune-Herald, Feb. 9) with its jab at the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation for inefficiencies regarding closure and improvements to Kolekole Beach Park.

Due to those pesky health and safety laws and collective bargaining agreements, lead would probably have to be removed from the soil before employees could commence any work.

Then there are those burdensome federal and state rules regarding Americans with Disabilities Act improvements (handicapped accessible renovations in the cartoon).

County workers can’t just go, slap down some cement to make a ramp, and call it good. The scope of the work must be defined, then a request for proposals with review of the bids, selection and drawings that go to the state, often numerous times, for review before the proposed improvements appear to be in compliance with the ADA standards.

After all that, the work can begin, but most likely, it’s not the only project that P&R has on its schedule. When the work is completed, vandals will probably destroy it. Then the whole cycle will start again, and we can look forward to another amusing cartoon.

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T. Spinola-Campbell

Hilo

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