LETTERS: CVS tobacco decision a bold move

To the editor:

CVS Caremark should be highly commended for its leadership in making the bold and courageous announcement last week to stop selling tobacco products at its 7,600 pharmacies, including 85 in Nevada. The company’s decision comes on the heels of the 50th anniversary of the first surgeon general’s report on smoking and health, and the release of a new report on tobacco use.

The new report found that smoking is now even more hazardous and takes an even greater toll on the nation’s health than previously thought. Smoking kills 480,000 Americans annually, sickens millions more and costs the nation in excess of $289 billion in health care expenses and lost productivity every year. Furthermore, exposure to secondhand smoke is deadly, taking the lives of 2.5 million nonsmoking Americans over the past 50 years.

In Nevada, lung cancer is the leading cancer killer year over year, and 90 percent of those cases are the result of tobacco use. CVS Caremark’s historic decision to stop selling tobacco is a giant step in the right direction to creating a healthier, smoke-free environment and protecting future generations from tobacco-related deaths and illness. We encourage all other pharmacies and retail health care companies to follow CVS Caremark’s example.



The writer is president of the Nevada Tobacco Prevention Coalition (www.tobaccofreenv.com).

Teaching men to fish

To the editor:

I believe in capitalism, and I also believe in fairness. Our national debt could be reduced if more people were working and adding taxes, and if executives and politicians were willing to make compromises. Their incomes are excessive while others starve.

I’m not talking about welfare — I’m talking about “teaching the man to fish.” There would be less crime and fewer people incarcerated — keeping more people incarcerated costs money. Training programs are needed to teach people how to achieve goals and be productive citizens, allowing them to develop dignity and self-worth.

I recently saw such a program profiled on television. An individual took underprivileged people and helped them learn skills through which they could get good jobs. In addition, they were taught how to dress and how to behave in the corporate world, which was foreign to them because they had no mentors or examples to follow.

Instead of hundreds of thousands of dollars of income going to the elite, a percentage of their income could go toward this goal, and it begins with the president setting the example and sharing some of his wealth, and not just rhetoric from his lips. There could be incentives available for Congress and corporations, as well.

If things continue to go in the current direction, we shouldn’t be surprised when the less fortunate revolt, and the U.S. will have the same problem that other countries are facing.



Firefighter facts

To the editor:

After seeing Barbara M. Trella’s letter, I can’t contain myself any longer (“Fired up,” Feb. 4 Review-Journal). For years, I have read numerous letters and articles, all criticizing firefighters for being lazy, money-grubbing people. This latest letter from Ms. Trella, in which she is angry at two trucks and eight firefighters for shopping at Smith’s, just begs a question: Do people not realize that these men and women have to be ready to respond to a call at any time?

Firefighters don’t have time to go back to the station and pick up the rest of the crew when your house is on fire or your significant other is having a heart attack. And hopefully you wouldn’t want them to. And since you had a look in their cart, you have also decided they are “eating better than most people.” Why would you be insulted? They are buying their own groceries. The city or county does not pay for those groceries. And they are often buying for more than whom you see at the store.

Most departments here are on 24-hour shifts. Firefighters have to eat on that shift, and they have to shop when they have time. Please don’t be so quick to judge if you really don’t know all the facts. Most of the firefighters I know are hard-working people who would go out of their way — while on duty or off — to help people.



Honoring our airmen

To the editor:

Regarding Thursday’s front-page article, “Nellis airmen back after Horn of Africa mission,” thank you very much for the excellent report on this important story. Our military members deserve the exposure, and the public needs to know of the personal sacrifices soldiers make each day.

The beautiful, heartwarming picture of the 1-year-old waiting for Dad to come home brought tears to my eyes. It reminded me of the joy I felt after many deployments I had, plus two one-year tours, of returning home to that joyful reunion. During the first one-year tour, my son was born just before I left and didn’t really get to know me. My wife would have him kiss my picture every night before bed. When I returned home, he wasn’t sure about me. My wife said, “Give Daddy a kiss.” He ran to the picture and kissed it. I was a little hurt but was grateful he knew he had a dad.

Thank you again for remembering these warriors.