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Readers write: How to help nicotine addicts, better step for protecting bees

Letters to the editor for the Aug. 1, 2016 weekly magazine.

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    Honey bees buzz around a hive on Denise Palkovich's property in Peebles, Wis.
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How to help nicotine addicts

I’d like to respond to the May 23 Monitor’s View article “Helping kids be free of ‘vaping.’ ” No one, especially minors, should be exposed to a favorable view of nicotine. However, what looks to some like legislation to prevent children’s nicotine use looks to others like unfair lobbying by special-interest groups.

Nicotine gums, lozenges, and patches are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies and sold openly in stores where minors are present. For many adults who vape, these products were unhelpful in curbing their tobacco habits, and vaping is a last-ditch effort to reduce nicotine addiction’s harmful effects. 

As with overcoming any addiction, harm reduction is an important step in altogether eradicating nicotine from society. Offering nicotine addicts as many options as needed to quit tobacco, regardless of who profits, is integral to harm reduction.

Erica Fox

Farmersburg, Ind.

Better step for protecting bees

Regarding the June 9 article “Can ‘backyard beekeepers’ solve the bee crisis?” (CSMonitor.com): The loss of bee populations has caught my attention, and it saddens me as an environmental science major. 

The fact that everyday people are becoming beekeepers is great news, but it is simply not enough. Without bees, our future meals look grim. Not only are our berries, chocolate, and almonds dependent on bees, but so are onions, alfalfa – the list goes on. 

What has really been affecting the bee population is a new class of pesticide called neonicotinoids. These pesticides are addictive to bees and have the potential to cause complete colony collapse. 

Your article is correct in saying that a great way to assist bees is to start beekeeping in your community, but the best thing someone can do is petition for the Environmental Protection Agency to ban neonicotinoids for the sake of our future.

Tyler Matthews

Philadelphia

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