Letter to the Editor: Vaping Folk Hero

The “Your Reps in the News” article on Nov. 22 regarding Sen. Ron Johnson begins by telling us that he “has become somewhat of a folk hero on vaping websites since 2016.” Yay? I think nay.

Apparently he “has scored a victory” for the vaping industry by most recently convincing President Trump to renege on the proposal to ban most flavored e-cigs, which was to be an effort to dissuade our teens from so readily engaging in what has proven to be a deadly pleasure.

Reasons for the reversal, followed by my personal take:

• “Political fallout among voters and lobbyists”: As always and forever, political goals override what is actually in the best interest of the people of this country.

• The partial ban would have a “devastating effect on the e-cigarette industry and force many small businesses to shut down”: It seems that business must go on as usual, regardless of how many children get sick or perhaps even die due to use of this dangerous product. And you all know as well as I do that raising the legal age to purchase vaping products to 21 doesn’t mean diddly-squat. I had ready access to alcohol, back in the day, at the tender age of 14. Just like anything else that is to be age restricted, there is always a way to get at it without too much trouble.

• Sen. Johnson goes on to point out that “many adults have quit smoking by switching to e-cigarettes, a product that is 95 percent less harmful …” Bull tweety, says me. I smoked for 37 years, giving up the habit in 2003, and my lungs were clear on the day I flushed those last 10 filterless Kools down the toilet. Vaping appears to be a far quicker route to serious health problems than tobacco has ever been. 

In the words of John Cleese (of Monty Python’s Flying Circus fame), “As I’ve aged, I’ve found the world far, far more ridiculous than I used to think.”

Sharon Thill

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin