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Letter: Missouri still backward regarding smoking and vaccines

Letter: Missouri still backward regarding smoking and vaccines

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday that it plans to launch measures banning menthols in the coming year.

Regarding the letter “How to pay for Medicaid: just increase the tobacco tax” (May 27): I am a native Missourian, and I truly love our state. What I don’t understand about it is the behavior of so many of its citizens relative to health issues. Missouri is in the top third of the United States in adult smoking, with 24.5% of those 18 years of age or older smoking. Smoking by gender reveals little difference between men and women.

We are now three generations into people knowing that smoking is harmful, yet, Missourians don’t get it. They just keep puffing away their lives. You can’t really blame habit or addiction when you know from that first cigarette what they do to your body. By any definition, that equates to stupidity and a selfish attitude.

Another example of Missourians being stupid: Coronavirus vaccines are key to stopping the carnage. But Missouri once again distinguishes itself as one of having one lowest percentage of citizens who have taken the vaccine.

The late KMOX personality Jim White frequently used the term “you can’t fix stupid.” Here in Missouri, we have a large dose of stupid and there is little hope for any substantive improvement. Destructive attitudes on smoking and vaccination are passed down from generation to generation. God save our children from the selfish, know-it-all perspectives of too many parents.

Paul Zacher • Fenton

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