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Editor:

An open letter to our Wyoming congressional representatives.

I'm concerned about the proposed vaping flavor ban. I enjoy vaping, and a big part of that is the wide variety of flavors. No decent human being wants children to vape, and the courts should come down hard on anyone selling these products to children. But it's wrong to penalize the rest of us for the illegal actions of a few.

Regarding the deaths that have recently occurred, their number is very small, and reports show they likely involve adulterated products. It's not right to use federal power to ban something that becomes harmful when it is misused. Almost anything can be made dangerous with enough stupidity.

Even when misused, the number of deaths is very small in comparison to other legal products that cause death. Peanuts, automobiles, dogs and alcohol (88,000 deaths per year) are all much more dangerous. Speaking of alcohol, according to the CDC teen alcohol use kills 4,700 people each year. Why are't you trying to ban flavored alcoholic beverages? Is it because teen alcohol deaths have been happening for so long that it's not on anyone's radar anymore? The tragic part is that alcohol doesn't save lives, while vaping gets tens of thousands of people off of much more dangerous tobacco products. Banning almost all flavors will drive people back to real cigarettes, which according to the CDC kill about 68,000 times the number of people killed by vaping each year.

This ban will also put thousands of people out of work. It's the small businesses that make most of their money on flavored e-juice. They can't compete with big tobacco when it comes to unflavored e-cigs. These businesses will go under if a flavor ban is passed.

Republicans claim to be against federal overreach and for states rights, until something comes along that they find morally objectionable. Then they are as ready to regulate, ban and confiscate as any liberal. Please have the moral and intellectual integrity to allow individual states to address this issue.

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WILLIAM WOODWARD III, GilletteĀ 

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