More and more hospitals are becoming tobacco-free, meaning no smoking is allowed within a certain range of the hospital.
But what goes on beyond the magical no-smoking line?
The fact is that one in five Americans smoke, and many are health-care workers.
Cigarette smoking and its effects on those who do not smoke cost employers more than $90 billion annually in lost productivity and absenteeism.
In addition, smoking has many health-related effects, including heart disease, cancer, increased infections, sudden infant death syndrome and prematurity. The goal of employers should be educating smokers on the risks and working on getting them into smoking-cessation programs, extending the no-smoking line into our communities.
Many employers have wellness programs that reward smokers who quit with money back on their insurance as well as providing free counseling and smoking-cessation products.
Educating and promoting a tobacco-free environment among health-care workers will not only provide role models for the community, but it will also keep our families healthier.
Sara Kilbride, D.O.
School start time
The American Academy of Pediatrics One has recommended postponing the start time of middle and high schools to allow students to get more sleep, believing this would allow them to do better in school because the study suggests this age range has a natural sleep cycle that makes falling asleep before 11 p.m. difficult (8-26, A1, “Starting school later better for teen health”).
The problem with this is the fact that there are only so many hours in a day. We all know delaying the schedule by an hour will not suddenly make the day 25 hours, so pushing it back will not really change anything.
For example, by making classes start later in the day, this would most likely force classes to end later, sports practices to begin and end later, students to start their homework later and, in turn, the students would give themselves the same amount of relaxation time away from schoolwork they give themselves now.
Nothing would change besides exactly when something happens. The real problem is when the students choose to go to sleep, which is probably far too late considering they have to get up early the next morning.
Mess in Congress
I recently received an expensive-looking, four-color brochure from Rep. Kevin Yoder. The brochure’s cover implies that it includes an economic report.
However, after scouring the brochure, I couldn’t find anything that looked like an economic report.
Instead, Mr. Yoder opts to talk about what he has done to “hold Washington accountable.”
It might be more truthful, Kevin, to simply state the obvious: You’ve done your part to “hold up” Washington.
Consider these recent Rasmussen Reports survey results: 63 percent of voters give this Congress a poor performance rating, 69 percent think Congress hasn’t passed any legislation that will significantly improve life in America, 79 percent think most members of Congress listen to political party leaders instead of the people they represent and 68 percent think that, no matter how bad things might be, Congress can always find a way to make them worse.
It’s an election year, I get it.
The brochure is one big promotion for our skinny-dipping congressman (remember that?).
Consider these chilling words on the back of Mr. Yoder’s expensive brochure: “This mailing was prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense.”
No thanks, Kevin Yoder. I’ll be voting for former state Sen. Kelly Kultala to represent me in Congress.
I have one question for the president.
If you think the majority of Americans agree with your planned unilateral changes to immigration policy and if you think that same majority supports your circumventing Congress to enact those changes, why don't you do it now before the November elections?
The answer is obvious. The president knows full well that the majority of Americans, while supporting legal immigration, strongly oppose illegal immigration.
He also knows that a majority of Americans agree with the five Democratic senators now fighting for re-election who have publicly stated their opposition to the president circumventing Congress on this issue.
But regardless of national interest or popular will, Obama will again pander to the special interest groups of his party as he did with the Keystone pipeline.
And rather than having the courage of his convictions, he will do so to avoid the consequences of his actions.
Sadly for our country, the same weak, frightened behavior that has marked President Barack Obama's foreign policy for the world to see is again on display here at home.
This should be no surprise. As the saying goes, “The bowl that leaks outside the house will certainly leak inside the house as well.”
Graves’ biased survey
I received a survey card in the mail recently from Rep. Sam Graves, Missouri’s 6th District congressman in the U.S. House. The survey is a classic example of push polling.
The survey asks such questions as: “Having seen Obamacare implemented in Missouri, do you approve or disapprove of the law?” Really?
When was the law implemented in Missouri?
Or this: “Do you support or approve of the EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency’s) actions to ‘protect’ the environment (at) the expense of higher costs for Missouri’s middle-class families?”
The word “protect” is in quotes, suggesting the protection of the environment is not important and that the costs would be borne only by the middle class and not the rich or poor.
Another: “Do you think Kansas City should spend billions of dollars to renovate the airport into a single terminal?” Really? Billions?
Using the phrase “spend billions of dollars” almost guarantees a no vote. Other questions are misleading in the same way.
I urge all Missourians in the 6th District to trash this survey. Rep. Graves clearly does not represent all of his constituents.
Social service needs
Supposedly, former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin once made the comment that he would hang 500 innocent men to find one guilty man.
I would feed, clothe and house 500 failures and derelicts such as alcoholics, marijuana users, drug abusers, prescription-drug abusers, tobacco users and misfits of society who are not responsible enough to work and provide for themselves and their families, as well as misfits who do not pay child support for the poor children they brought into the world to find the one person who is actually hungry, naked and homeless.
Thomas E. McGraw
Damage to planet
I am truly not understanding how seemingly intelligent people could think that the pollution spewed day after day by millions of cars, factories, chemical and medical waste into our landfills, water and air would not ultimately add up to a negative result.
With the clear-cutting of rain forests to the degree that is known, is one to think that it doesn’t change the air quality?
Is the constant biochemical destruction taking place and being absorbed into the air and water not going to affect our climate? Do the products of man-made creation magically disappear?
It brings to mind a children’s cereal that is “magically delicious” just by adding food coloring and sugar. A number of people continue to buy that.
I do not offer any calculations or numbers regarding climate change but only what I think would be common sense.
And I look naively for man-made constructive answers to lessen the threat to our present-day and future planet.
Kansas City, Kan.