Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Hoeven supporting FDA oversight

| Letters to the Editor | August 16th, 2017

To the editor:

Thank you, Senator Hoeven, for your leadership in the United States Senate as Chairman of the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee. During markup of the Fiscal 2018 budget, your subcommittee worked diligently to support our state and, in doing so, did a great service to public health

Advocates like myself are grateful for your continued support in keeping tobacco policy riders out of the budget bill. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently been facing the threat of riders that could weaken its oversight of e-cigarettes and cheap, flavored cigars, which are being used by large numbers of young people and putting kids at risk of nicotine addiction.

This issue is important to me, as I have dedicated much of my career to preventing kids from getting hooked on tobacco. I’ve led efforts in North Dakota to raise the tax on cigarettes and supported statewide prevention education. It’s critical for the FDA to have oversight of the tobacco industry and stop certain marketing tactics that target children.

Addiction, which is a chronic disease, is both treatable and preventable. Nicotine is highly addictive. For many users, it is harder to quit than alcohol. The National Institutes of Health even recognize that exposure to nicotine can make the brain more susceptible to cocaine addiction. The worst part is that tobacco-related illnesses kill more North Dakotans every year than alcohol and opioids combined. Tobacco products have no place around young people.

Though they’re not legally old enough to buy tobacco, candy flavors and cheap prices are helping to get kids addicted. The FDA reported more than 80% of kids who have used tobacco say they started with a flavored product. Another report from the FDA and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention says more high school boys are using more cigars these days than cigarettes. These are important areas for the FDA to monitor.

Senator Hoeven, I am grateful for your support for reducing the impact addiction has on North Dakotans. In my career in healthcare, I have met families across our great state who are fighting back against a disease that can ruin lives. They have hope that together we can beat it. As we work to find solutions back home, we are happy to know you are supporting our mission in the nation’s capital.

-Dr. Eric Johnson

Grand Forks

[Editor’s note: Dr. Johnson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of North Dakota]

Recently in:

FARGO– A legislator, hopeful politicians, and business owners appealed to the governor’s office Monday morning with hopes of an executive order to fight the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of Net Neutrality.The…

Last week we talked about my lack of photographic skills and then what the heck am I going to do with all of these bad pictures that I take. Storage options for those pictures continues this week:RAIDAnother storage option is a…

Wednesday, April 25, 9pm-howlingThe Aquarium, 226 Broadway, FargoYou may have heard their sick beats on 95.9 lpfm on Friday's from 5pm-midnight. Now you can dance your pants off in the presence of the minds behind ”The Riverside…

According to Greek mythology Hades is to blame for the Earth’s mournful state of winter. The story involves Persephone the goddess of nature and Hades the god of the underworld in a classic caper of obsession, abduction, and…

Does That Old-Time Religion Signal The End Of Rational Thought?An incident about gender identity in the Maryland Legislature last week magnified a microcosm of what we are going through in the United States about religion in the…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

All About Food

​Oysters

by HPR Staff

By Ben Myhrebenmyhre35@gmail.comAs a North Dakota native, raw oysters are just not a food staple that I think about. We are about as far from the coasts as we can get and we have a backyard full of tasty local cuisine, like walleye…

Record Store Day is all about music artists and fans celebrating “the culture of the independently owned record store.” A variety of unique and special releases are pressed for Record Store Day and those are only distributed to…

Leveraging whatever name-brand clout it might carry with the target demographic, “Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare” -- the onscreen title for the pre and post-credit sequences -- won’t make the kind of impact previously enjoyed by…

There are so many cool places to be in Austin during the South by Southwest Festival -- like the Flatstock Market, which displays the works of the world’s top gig poster artists. The show features posters of varying styles,…

By Nathan Roybardsdream@gmail.comYou are absolutely right. The title is not “To be or not to be” from the famous Shakespeare soliloquy in "Hamlet." I won’t be talking about Shakespeare particularly. I will expound the…

Fargo has its share of people who are passionate about stand-up comedy, even if the success of clubs devoted to it has been mixed. Despite the fact we have seen places like Courtney’s Comedy Club and Level 2 Comedy Club close…

I consider myself an avid wine drinker, but I recently found out there are more than 10,000 varieties of grapes, and about 1,500 of those are used to make commercial wines. I don’t know about you, but I could probably name about…

A few months ago, I was introduced to the concept of probiotics and how they work with our bodies. I would never have guessed the change that occurred after their introduction into my system.I always considered myself a fairly…

By Melissa Martin melissamartincounselor@live.com “I’m sorry” are two vital words to be used in relationships because human beings are imperfect people living in imperfect environments. Ask yourself the following…

Calm was the day in late JulyAnd bright was the sun across the skyBut inside his chest the calm had brokenGovernor Sinner had started croakin’.I laughed the first time I read that, and I’m still laughing every time I think…