Vaping has its place, is safer than cigarettes

While we agree that vaping products are for adults and should be kept away from children and teenagers, we were shocked to read Dr. Nita Shumaker claim that vaping is not safer than smoking in last Sunday's Perspective section.

In a state where more than one in four adults smoke, dispensing this sort of advice is incredibly irresponsible.

Unlike cigarettes, vaping products do not expose users to smoke or tar. While not completely risk-free, the United Kingdom's Public Health England has estimated vaping to be at least 95 percent safer than smoking.

Even the American Cancer Society, which once fervently opposed vaping under any circumstances, now acknowledges that vaping is "substantially less dangerous" than smoking and says smokers looking to quit with vaping should be supported.

Dr. Shumaker may not like vaping, but that doesn't justify misleading adult smokers and their loved ones.

Tennessee's vape shops exist to help adult smokers transition to a significantly less toxic alternative. Misinformation only makes it more difficult to help adult smokers.

Dimitris Agrafiotis, executive director, Tennessee Smoke Free Association


Thurman urges critic to look at the facts

In a May 18 letter to the editor, "White supremacy dominates county," the writer referred to me and my fellow school board member, Joe Smith, as racists and white supremacists because we spoke out against busing. I have never met or spoken with the writer, so he knows nothing about me.

He obviously knows nothing about Joe Smith, either. Joe has fostered 19 African-American young men in his home.

Since the writer has only been in Chattanooga since 2013, does he know the school district has had three black superintendents since the 1998 merger? Does he know that inner-city schools have had black and white principals, black and white teachers, PEF, Lyndhurst and Benwood foundations, teacher pay incentives, magnet schools, majority-minority transfers, charter schools, new school buildings and renovations, business partners and millions of dollars trying to close the achievement gap?

I would love to see his list of "racism" he says "is clearly evident in our school system."

His demand that I "immediately resign" from the school board will not happen. I would suggest that he practice what he preaches and judge people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

Rhonda Thurman


Trump has done wonders in short time

How could Christians vote for Trump? Let me count the ways:

First, we were not selecting a minister, etc. Second, the final alternative, Hillary, was totally unacceptable for many Christians. The skeletons in Clinton's closet still have blood on them. Hillary is inept, corrupt and would continue to sell influence and add to the beltway stench, a rank smell that had become intolerable.

Something had to change. Be different.

Ben Carson was a good alternative but couldn't attract enough popular support.

Trump, though somewhat of an unknown (politically) and somewhat of a gamble, did not exude political rhetoric, and we longed for a change. In hindsight, how fortunate we were!

What Trump has accomplished in such a short time is truly astounding. How much more could be done if the "hate Trumpers" would lay aside blinding bias and work for the good of all people instead of resisting everything Trump, whether good or bad? If you can't or won't help, please get out of the way.

Trump is attempting to limit the influence of lobbyists. If we could only put term limits with that, a more pleasant fragrance may come from the swamp. If only!

W.R. Barger, Monteagle, Tenn.