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Be careful out there. It's getting darker. The dark is coming earlier in the afternoon and lasting until later in the morning.

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News that Ucore Rare Metals is proceeding to the next step in its process toward developing a mine at its Bokan Mountain/Dotson Ridge property on the southeast coast of Prince of Wales Island should be viewed positively — despite coming at a difficult time for the rare earth element mining sector.

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Letty Eileen Cole, 93, died on Oct. 15, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Susan Marie Mallott Patrick, 58, died Oct. 11, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Daniel Edward Hines, 47, died Oct. 11, 2014, in Juneau after a nine-month battle with brain cancer.
6/26/2014
Lay off e-cigs

EDITOR, Daily News:

Here come anti-smokers talking about e-cigarettes — which burn no tobacco, only heat a solution containing nicotine.

No harms are known to the smoker or anyone nearby, but that won’t stop tobacco critics claiming regulations are needed to protect the public.

What part of ‘no danger’ don’t you understand?

What cancer is to a healthy body, the regulator is to a healthy nation that wants to be left alone from a bully disguised as a public servant.

Public health manufactured the harms of passive smoking. Claims of danger via junk science brought in more than a billion dollars of public health (taxpayer) and other special-interest money during the past 20 years. The tobacco settlement brought in hundreds of billions.

Are ongoing paydays like this an incentive to cook the books? It’s been enough money to purchase a cultural shift in attitudes.

The most basic premise of science is to debate a claim’s legitimacy. Why should e-cigarettes be different? Junk-science factories already are humming because of possible FDA?regulations.

E-cigarettes gave public health everything they said they wanted — smoke with no odor or effects to bystanders, and safer because smokers don’t inhale anything burning to get nicotine.

Are anti-smokers happy now? No. An e-cigarette legitimizes smoking again, and that scares anti-smokers. This means they lose absolute control of the debate. It also means things will become better for smokers. Public health will improve and smokers might be saved from illness by quitting regular cigarettes.

It’s a public health win-win for everyone who legitimately cares about social welfare. Many cities and states have banned e-cigarettes or are trying to tax them like tobacco cigarettes, which isn’t in the real public interest. Real lives could be at stake.

The FDA is taking public comment through July 9 about the possible regulation of e-cigarettes. Go to www.regulations.gov to leave a comment.

If public health is no longer interested in everyone’s best interests, including smokers, it’s time for massive layoffs so we can start over.

DAVE?PICKRELL

President, Smokers Fighting

Discrimination, Inc.

Katy, Texas