Mississippi editorial roundup
Recent editorials from Mississippi newspapers:
The Daily Leader of Brookhaven on a study that said that Mississippi was one of the least charitable states in the nation:
A recent study pointed out that Mississippi was one of the least charitable states in the nation. The report runs counter to most every other piece of data about generosity. Most studies show that Mississippi is one of the most charitable states.
So why the discrepancy? It turns out, the most recent report used internet searches to determine which state was the most generous. It looked at keywords such as “best charities to donate to” and “places to donate to.” The states with the most searches for these words ranked higher.
That’s a ridiculous method, but it highlights an interesting fact about Mississippi. Magnolia State residents are indeed some of the most charitable in the country, but we don’t need Google to tell us who to give to.
We know where to send our donations, and at the top of most Mississippians’ list is church. That is typically followed by non-profits doing work in our communities.
Here in Lincoln County, there are plenty of groups soliciting donations. Many of them will use your donations to help locals. ...
Greenwood Commonwealth on President Donald Trump’s response to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi:
Donald Trump is faced with the same dilemma all U.S. presidents face in dealing with U.S. allies who don’t live up to?American values. Do you stick by principle and reduce ties with an economic or security partner who violates our nation’s norms? Or do you gloss over the ally’s transgression and conduct business as usual?
In the case of the killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the president’s inclination appears to be to give the perpetrator a pass. The president has said, evidence to the contrary, he’s not convinced that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a frequent target of Khashoggi’s criticism, had anything to do with the journalist’s slaying inside the Saudi Consulate in Turkey. But even if the crown prince ordered the killing, Trump suggests that getting all hot and bothered about it is not worth alienating an ally that sells a lot of oil to the U.S. and buys a lot of weapons from it.
Maybe not, but the president sells American values short when he thinks it’s unreasonable to expect our allies to abide by them. Democratic nations the world over respect press freedom and the right of citizens to express their opinion without fearing for their lives. It’s only the autocratic nations that don’t.
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal on youth tobacco data:
Years of hard work to reduce youth tobacco usage are threatened by a new technology.
The use of e-cigarettes has increased dramatically among middle and high school students, according to a recent report, and the trend has sparked concern from public health advocates. In fact, a 2016 report from the Surgeon General calls e-cigarette use among U.S. youth and young adults “a major public health concern.”
Those concerns came into even sharper focus earlier this month when the latest annual National Youth Tobacco Survey was released. It found that 3.6 million middle and high school students were current e-cigarette users, more than double last year, as reported by the Daily Journal’s Michaela Gibson Morris. Led by that increase, overall tobacco use was also up after having seen encouraging declines in each of the past two years.
Among high school students, overall tobacco use dropped from about 25 percent in both 2014 and 2015 to below 20 percent in 2016 and 2017. This year, it was up to 27.1 percent. The trend is similar for middle school students, with 7.2 percent reporting tobacco usage this year.
One reason that e-cigarettes tend to appeal more to children is the various flavors that are available. They’re also more difficult to detect.
Juul and other similar e-cigarettes don’t look like cigarettes or tank-based vaping devices, so parents and teachers often don’t recognize them. There is also no telltale smoke smell in hair and clothing.
The concern goes deeper than a worry that e-cigarettes are serving as a gateway to other tobacco products. The devices are also more dangerous.
The Juul delivers a pack’s worth of nicotine in one pod. A similar e-cigarette, The Phix, delivers two packs worth of nicotine. And research has shown young brains are more vulnerable to the negative consequences of nicotine exposure.
In response to Morris’s story, Juul released a statement noting that its devices are intended only for adults.
“We cannot be more emphatic on this point: no young person or non-nicotine user should ever try JUUL,” it said, noting that the company’s mission is to serve as an alternative to combustible cigarettes for existing adult smokers.
We can’t agree more. And that’s why careful attention must be paid to keep such devices out of young hands.
That includes steps like tougher crackdowns on sales, limiting access to certain flavors, increased awareness of the dangers to teens, and strategies for parents and teachers to better recognize them. It also includes stricter regulating and labeling of e-cigarettes.
The rising usage of e-cigarettes among youths is a dangerous trend. It’s time to get to work on stopping it.