Work to influence teens so they avoid tobacco

I was intrigued by an Associated Press article on the front page of The Marietta Times on April 20 entitled, “FDA targets rural teens who chew tobacco.” The writer states that FDA effort to focus on risks is the first such effort. That may very well be.

However, in as much as it may be news to FDA agency, there has been concerted effort to combat the evils of chew tobacco. It’s leading cause of mouth and tongue cancer, its cause of bad breath and damage to teeth. In Parkersburg News and Sentinel on April 17, there was a letter to the editor dealing with chew tobacco problems a number of years ago.

There is a way that community can tackle this problem without costing taxpayers $36 million just to tackle a small segment of population, in select areas.

We, as individuals, can help young people who are risking their health by pointing out the damage the user of chew tobacco is doing to himself. It may cost us a little of our time, but rewards will be immeasurable. It is imperative that the approach we use and motive are sincere knowledgeable and not threatening.

Val Hoover

Marietta