Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Tuesday, Oct. 12


To curb smoking, boost tobacco tax

Improving people’s health has rarely been more urgent than it is right now, which is why I’m glad to see Sen. Chuck Schumer is among those working to find ways to help better public health through the reconciliation legislation. One piece of that bill that I would urge Sen. Schumer to support is an increase in the federal tobacco tax.

Increasing the price of tobacco is proven to be the best way to get people to quit smoking and prevent kids from starting.

Considering tobacco use remains the No. 1 preventable cause of cancer in this country, every person who stops smoking or never begins is a life spared from tobacco-related death and disease.

The legislation being considered would double the cigarette tax to about $2 a pack and would ensure other tobacco products, which are often cheaper and therefore more appealing to kids, are taxed at an equal level. In just the first year, the tax is estimated to reduce the number of adults who smoke by more than 1 million.

Considering the significant health benefits of increasing the tobacco tax, I strongly urge Sen. Schumer to make sure this common sense public health measure is passed into law.


Trump should face justice for actions

Trump should be indicted, arrested and tried for numerous felonies as soon as possible.

He engaged in fraudulent business practices such as undervaluing his properties and hiding compensation to high level employees for tax purposes. He attempted to extort the president of Ukraine to bolster his chance to win the 2020 election.

Following the election, he solicited election fraud in Georgia when he asked Secretary of State Rathensberger to “find” 11,780 votes for him, the exact number needed to give him a win. He incited insurrection in a failed coup on Jan. 6.

Trump is still a free man because of justifiable fear that an arrest would result in widespread violence, as the bedlamists who support him will do anything for their leader.

However, this fear does not take into account that that same fanaticism will drive the anti-democratic and racist forces in this country to continue to lie, cheat, falsify records and undermine faith in our elections to worm their way into government from school boards to the Supreme Court.

If they succeed, we will all be at the mercy of angry, irrational, power-hungry racist tyrants.

We should face the immediate consequences of forcing Trump and all of his enablers to face justice rather than waiting for them to destroy the American constitutional system from within.


Candidate info available from LWV

The League of Women Voters (LVW) of Schenectady County invited the candidates running for election in Schenectady County, the City of Schenectady, Niskayuna, Glenville and Rotterdam to answer several questions to provide information for voters.

The replies of over 40 candidates, organized by municipality, can be viewed at
The writer is Candidate Forum coordinator for the League of Women Voters of Schenectady County.


Online letters

Commenters to online letters who fail to follow rules against name-calling, profanity, threats, libel or other inappropriate language will have their comments removed and their commenting privileges withdrawn.

To report inappropriate online comments, email Editorial Page Editor Mark Mahoney at [email protected]

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

LOUIS RESTIFO October 12, 2021
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Smokers, heavy drinkers, drug abusers, etc. all put a huge burden on every aspect of the health care system and all things connected to it. The financial aspects that ripple down, from increased insurance costs, to Medicare/Medicaid, emergency services, counseling and scores of other related cost are astronomical to all of us. Certainly no easy answers when considering all the reasons for who and why so many of us end up down that hole, PTSD being one.

I’m sure Fred or William will have a one sentence resolution.

ChuckD October 12, 2021
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The other shoe drops. Let there be more of this:
Two Wisconsin mothers whose children had Covid-19 in September have sued their school districts, for “needlessly and recklessly endangering the health and safety” of their children and other students.

Both lawsuits accuse the school districts of creating a “snake pit” for students by not implementing Covid-19 safety measures recommended by health officials, such as indoor masking, at their schools this year.

The suits say the Falls Creek school district and school board and Waukesha school district and school board “are aware that by removing their Covid-19 mitigation measures they are needlessly and recklessly endangering the health and safety of their students”.

CYNTHIA SWANSON October 12, 2021
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Sorry, jclark. Off my reply flew with your wrong moniker!

CYNTHIA SWANSON October 12, 2021
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Anyone recall Prohibition?? Speakeasies, onset of organized crime, etc. Banning cigarettes would never work. Full disclosure: I quit smoking in 1976, cold Turkey, and haven’t had another since.

KClark makes excellent points, particularly as it relates to masks and being vaccinated.

Florida2015 October 12, 2021
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For the freedom loving patriots who are anti vaccine or masks, even with preventive no- smoking measures in place that jclark mentioned this still happens.

Secondhand smoke causes 7,333 annual deaths from lung cancer.1
Secondhand smoke causes 33,951 annual deaths from heart disease.1

You could relate these numbers for our family and friends who feel they have there freedom to ignore the preventive protocols for the rest of us in this pandemic.

William Marincic October 12, 2021
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ANTHONY J. SANTO WOW, the TDS is strong in you.

William Marincic October 12, 2021
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ARSYL D. DE JESUS, M.D. More than 480,000 people die each year from smoking and you wanna tax cigarettes. How about banning cigarettes all together, this government is pushing a vaccine and people are losing their jobs for not getting it, yes 700,000 people have died from Covid that’s less than have died in the last 18 months from cigarettes. What’s the difference, I’ll tell you, it’s the tax money the government is making off cigarettes.