Your Views for March 21

A bad move

I was happy to see the article (Tribune-Herald, March 14) about House Bill 1296, the repealing of the Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund.

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What most people might not know is that this trust fund also is the only source of funding for tobacco cessation programs in the state.

I am a tobacco treatment specialist at Hamakua-Kohala Health whose job is to help people overcome their nicotine addiction. Tobacco products containing nicotine include cigarettes, cigars, chew, hookahs, vaping liquids and many other products.

Nicotine addiction is the hardest addiction to overcome. About 480,000 people die from tobacco use every year in the United States compared to opiates, which cause about 70,000 deaths each year in the U.S.

The tobacco trust fund currently provides funding to 17 grantees throughout the state to provide cessation. If the fund is repealed, we could see those programs come to an end, including the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline.

Thousands of tobacco users who want to quit tobacco and vaping will be greatly effected. Those who quit represent a huge state savings to our health care system, as well as better and more productive lives in the future.

We need people to contact their lawmakers and strongly oppose HB1296.

For more information, contact hiphi.org. They can provide information regarding the trust fund and the House bill.

Kathyrn Akioka

Honokaa

Immigration

The solution to the Mexican immigration problem is not to allow anyone into the country who does not already have the right to be here. You can take applications and then send the person back across the border to Mexico, where they can wait and see how the process goes.

If we did that, Mexico would be the one that has the problem of dealing with immigrant families who are coming up from farther south, and they might decide eventually to evaluate these people at their southern border so as not to take responsibility for them merely because they show up.

That in turn might motivate other countries south of Mexico to do likewise there so people would not be motivated to leave their country merely because they want to have a better life in a richer country and do not care to follow the legal process to emigrate there.

If you would not allow poor people to come into your home and then take care of them and all of their needs for the future, then you would be hypocritical to say that the United States should essentially do just that.

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Carl Oguss

Hilo

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