To the editor: Banning flavored tobacco products does not even scratch the surface of tobacco addiction during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are in the midst of an out-of-control emotional roller coaster, where our addiction potential is at the highest level. The dilemma is multifactorial.
First, flavored anything is addictive to those who savor that flavor. Add the addictive power of nicotine and you have a double whammy.
Second, we live in a democracy that allows us the freedom to eat and drink to our heart's desire onto death. There is no law against food — against alcoholic beverages, there are some laws, but not food.
Third, we have a brain that responds to foods when stimulating the receptors for sugar, fat, salt, even water.
My recommendation: Ban not only flavored tobaccos, but also flavored sugared drinks, flavored sweetened desserts and the beautiful colorful food product displays at our supermarkets. Save us from ourselves.
Jerome P. Helman, MD, Venice