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 – The National Weather Service has predicted widespread flooding from the Great Lakes to Devils Lake to the Red River of the North River Basin, saying the risk is elevated because of packed snow, deep frost, and…

By Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.com“North Dakota (and Minnesota) nice” is an attitude, a stereotype, and a way of life that has permeated our region, as well as perceptions of the Midwest, since as long as people have been…

March 19-23Fargo Theatre, 314 N Broadway, FargoThe Fargo Theatre will be opening daily at 9am during the Fargo Film Festival and will be screening 90+ submissions! Add director Q&As, 2 minute movie contest and extra special guests.…

It is possible, even ethical, to stand behind Israel and criticize the nation at the same time. No country, no man or woman, is without fault. While we at the High Plains Reader believe the U.S. House of Representatives’…

The Battle Between Extreme Capitalism And Democratic SocialismAfter Vice-President Mike Pence representing racial and extreme capitalism ended his scathing rant about democratic socialism at the Conservative Political Action…

The eighth week of this year’s HPR Cocktail Showdown was another tripleheader for our panel of judges. On this particular week, we found ourselves focused on a trio of downtown dining and entertainment establishments to visit…

In rural Minnesota, outside of Park Rapids, Amy Thielen was attempting to light her wood-fired oven. It is in her brand-new kitchen that she hopes to teach cooking classes out of, which is a far cry from what it was when she and…

The Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra has had its fair share of guest performances headlining its concerts over the years. They all have impressive resumes, their fair share of awards, and worldwide recognition. However, bringing…

With the 19th annual Fargo Film Festival underway this week, film lovers and filmmakers are flocking to the Fargo Theatre to catch screenings. One local filmmaker, Steven Warkel, got to see the short film that he wrote and…

Though Harvey North Dakota based photographer Lew Ableidinger has switched from film photography to digital photography and back he couldn’t avoid the analog.“I returned to film because I wanted to start shooting large format,…

To many people unfamiliar with the wide range of the musical genre, the word ‘opera’ conjures up stereotypical images of people in period costumes and large women in Viking garb singing in foreign languages. The truth, however,…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

By Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.comThink & Drink is coming to Fargo! Organized by Humanities North Dakota, Think & Drink is a happy hour series that hosts a facilitated public conversation about big issues and ideas. Lead by a…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

I’ve got a problem. I need to write a column that is going to be kind of critical of three people I like, and I’m trying to figure out how to do it without making them all angry at me. Their names are Sara, Doug and Marvin.…