LETTERS: Tobacco still health hazard

Smoking, vaping and e-cigarettes are a big “magnitude”; there are 38 million American adults still smoking, and 15% of Texas adults are current smokers, plus nearly 9 of 10 daily smokers started before 18 years old. In survey conducted by Region 11 of the Prevention Resources Center/ Behavioral Health Solutions of South Texas, both youth (57%) and adults (87%) agree that e-cigarettes and vaping are harmful.

Forty percent of adults say it’s “very easy” for a youth to obtain an e-cigarette, and by contrast 28% of youths believe it’s “very easy.”

Youths believe that friends are the main source to obtain vaping devices.

All nicotine- and tobacco related deaths — 500,000 annually — compare to 34,000 deaths by homicide, suicide, unintentional or undetermined, or all automobile and traffic-related deaths (37,000), meaning that tobacco is an unhealthy issue for us.

There are resources for those who wish to quit smoking including a quit line, (800) 784-8669, that provides free counseling. Call BHSST at (956) 787-7111 or visit www. bhsst.org or www.prc11.org.

Daniel Rodriguez PRC 11 Tobacco Prevention Coordinator Behavioral Health Solutions of South Texas Pharr

Trump disease, Biden antidote


Pain in all fashion rings the dawn alarm for so many each morning by becoming the standard under armor to the day’s apparel ensemble.

Beneath the executive formal wear of the corporate machine, as well as the stained blue-collar strut, lies acute and chronic discomfort that multitudes suffer through daily. Whether engaged with societal normalcy or lost integrity of health utility; added stresses of family and the realistic effervescent airlume of COVID-19’s wrath exacerbates mental and physical pain in all of us. The later has carved a home in our social-architect that has been eaten away by political termites!

Most diseases and chronic ailments manifest by induction of some kind of inflammatory process. So true is the ever-present social distortion in the United States since the inception of the current administration.

Chronicity of devalued tutorials and negativism of provocative thought has plagued our nation at the visceral level; invoking a huge swell and pain deep in the fibers of our democracy. Like all presentations of pain the undeniable anecdote for the United States’ ailing foundation of inflaTRUMPmation is the calming dose of BIDEN prophen!

The social and economical radiance of badgering discourse has saturated social media since 2016 with the president’s center-ring!

COVID-19’s demonstrous demeanor has been insurmountable and the deepcut wounds of racial injustice reached their volcanic eruption in 2020, but all without the comfort, guidance and nurturing of the president. The inflammatory antics of the president have proliferated across most boundaries of decency, inducing a nation to a state of disease!

Now is the time for real social reformation and healing remedies for Americans! Now is the time that we get back to unified engagement and interaction with a president whom we can trust to epitomize the true stance of integrity! Now we’ll have a leader who will place humanity before self and empathy before wealth! True inspiration nestles in the belly of the calm.

Dennis Walter Smith Sr. Seneca Falls, N.Y.

Art of no deal


These are the most dangerous days of Donald Trump’s time in office, and the most dangerous for the country. He could very well take the country to war against Iran. He will certainly start pardoning all of his criminal co-conspirators, and handing out whatever government benefits he can to those he sees as being most loyal to him. Any damage he can do to the country he will do, just to show how important he is. Any destruction he can cause to the country to make President Biden’s job more difficult he will do out of spite and revenge for having shown him to be a loser.

Democrats should play the tape of Trump’s felonious conversation with Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Let the tape play endlessly. The world needs to hear the words of the president of the United States demonstrating his “Art of the Deal” antics, behaving like a mob boss coercing Mr.

Raffensperger to “find him 11,780 votes” to commit election fraud. The Republican clown show in the Senate and GOP House should serve as a reminder to Americans of what these seditious Republicans are supporting.

Throughout his presidency, his GOP allies have come up with novel ways to defend him against allegations of misconduct that range from felonious actions to outright lies. Arizona Republican Rep.

Paul Gosar contended that Trump’s call with Mr. Raffensperger was a simple expression of “enormous frustration,” and adds, “politically correct speech doesn’t run well,” when asked about Trump’s call. Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan shamelessly stated, “I got no concern.”

Trump will no doubt claim that he didn’t think what he was asking Mr. Raffensperger to do was wrong. Let’s not kid ourselves: Trump knows right from wrong (by the way, that’s the criminal test for insanity), he just doesn’t care.

He doesn’t get a pass on his egregious attempt to strongarm Georgia’s secretary of state to “recalculate the votes.” Make no mistake, Trump doesn’t mind getting caught — he only minds getting punished.

The GOP failed America, failed it big time in so many ways. They abandoned character, honor, democracy, truth. They have allowed, condoned and encouraged Trump’s felonious behavior and crimes. Georgia Sen. David Perdue finds it “disgusting” that the taped conversation between President Trump and Mr. Raffensperger was recorded and leaked. Never mind the criminally plotted circumvention of American democracy; never mind attempting to overturn the will of the people.

Sen. Perdue’s only concern and preference was that this criminal attempt of election tampering by President Trump was kept secret. Apparently, the shakedown the president was attempting to achieve was perfectly acceptable. Trump had pinned his hopes on judges reversing voters’ verdict, and the attitude of the silent and complicit GOP leaders appeared to be, “Not likely to work, Mr. President, but more power to you, if you can pull it off.”

There must be accountability because if there isn’t, Trump will continue his unrelenting quest to destroy American democracy even when he is out of office because that is what he does best. Democracy requires human decency, honesty (Trump is devoid of both) and an informed citizenry to function well. A third of Americans seems to lack those ingredients, and the Republican Party seems allergic to those ingredients.

We can have policy differences and still be patriotic Americans. We can survive a bad tax cut or tax increase, but we cannot survive the total erosion of character by the GOP because, to put it simply, the GOP do win elections and thus can wield unchecked and dangerous power. The GOP should have taken a stand for righteousness in 2019 when it was so obvious how venal and nefarious Trump was.

The damage Trump can bring to bear in these final days is incalculable. Trump is no friend of democracy. There must be accountability.

Letty Martinez-Roerig Brownsville