Governor Inslee held a news conference Feb. 13 to address the use of e-cigarettes by our youth. Maybe the governor, our elected officials, and the adults of our society ought to consider the following:
What kind of message are we sending our youth? I believe we, as a nation, have given our youth an extremely double-sided and hypocritical message when it comes to health. We spent billions of dollars attacking and trying to destroy the tobacco industry. We have spent and continue to spend large sums of money on anti-tobacco campaigns and health related messages. However, we legalize marijuana and promote alcohol? We destroyed Joe Camel but we love Anheuser-Busch commercials. What about the enormous economic burden that alcohol places on our society? If we are going to allow these behaviors, then maybe we ought to consider rather than allowing some and banning others. Allowing all of them but holding people accountable for their own actions and responsible for the outcomes of those actions. In other words, if one’s health outcomes are the result of choosing to smoke, drink, or use drugs then they ought to be responsible for the cost, not their neighbor nor their health insurance. I realize there are larger implications here than can be put into a quick comment. I’m simply asking that we consider the messages we give our youth and our approach to personal responsibility.