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Resources available to help? smokers who want to quit

Tobacco use and dependence continues to be the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality in New York State and in the United States. Cigarette use alone results in an estimated 443,000 deaths each year, including 25,400 deaths in New York. More than half a million New Yorkers currently suffer from serious smoking-caused diseases, at a cost of $8.17 billion in health care expenditures annually. The list of illnesses caused by tobacco use is long and contains many of the most common causes of death, including heart disease, stroke, many forms of cancer and lung and vascular diseases.

Smoking cessation treatment and counseling, however, haven't been top concerns for many physicians because presenting problems take priority, patient behavior often relapses and reimbursement rates. However, times are changing. Given that more than 70 percent of tobacco users visit a physician, it is essential that these clinicians be prepared to intervene. The state Health Department's Tobacco Control Program implements evidence-based strategies to prevent and reduce tobacco use. Research shows that 7 percent of smokers achieve long-term abstinence on their own. With physician assistance, this can increase to 30 percent.

The Tobacco Control Programs/Tobacco Cessation Centers across the state have resources available to help health care providers in assisting patients who are trying to quit, including patient education materials, a pharmacologic product guide, reimbursement, access to the NYS Smokers Quitline (1-866-NYQUITS) and continuing medical education to help physicians set up a system to address tobacco dependence.

Shannon Waddell

Assistant Coalition Coordinator

Tobacco Cessation Center

Roswell Park Cancer Institute

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Spoiled CSEA workers ?are gouging taxpayers

Local 815 Civil Service Employees Association rejected the latest contract with Erie County. CSEA workers are shown picketing County Hall with signs that say stop paying the rich, stop the war on workers.

I can only wonder why there were no picketers with signs that read stop raising our taxes, start fixing our roads and bridges, start cutting the weeds and grass along county roads. Eliminate the early quit. Stop the one-hour paid lunch. Stop forcing our children to move away on graduation day because you all feel you are somehow entitled to be paid and receive benefits that far exceed what the private sector receives.

When all is considered, CSEA members are the rich and taxpayers need a union.

Harvey Schwartzmeyer Jr.

North Collins

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New Darien Lake rules ?have proven disastrous

Changes must be made getting into and out of the Darien Lake concert facility. News pop music critic Jeff Miers got it right in his Aug. 26 article: "Parking gridlock, wasted crowd make disastrous Aldean concert even worse."

We attended half of the Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean concert. The reason we only got to see half of the concert is because of the traffic gridlock.

We left our Lancaster home at 5:15 p.m., which typically would give us plenty of time to make the 7 p.m. show. At 5:55, we hit a wall on Broadway (Route 20) and that was the beginning of the end. We spent 2 hours on Broadway. And this was not due to the accident that unfortunately seriously injured a young woman. People were getting out of their cars to urinate on the side of the road, throwing beer cans and bottles into the ditches and riding on the hoods of cars. It was an accident waiting to happen.

Closing the off-site parking lots did nothing to deter the foot traffic, as pedestrians just jumped into other people's cars when they got to the gate. I believe the real reason for the traffic issue was the lack of law enforcement directing traffic at the corner of Broadway and Route 77. They should have had this particular light flashing red for all directions, and an officer directing traffic.

Just as we were cresting the hill near Chestnut Hill Country Club, a state trooper did arrive and attempted to direct traffic, only to be called away when the accident occurred. I understand Genesee County has a smaller force then Erie County, however they need to enlist more state troopers to assist them on concert days.

Unfortunately, we will not be going back to Darien Lake for a concert anytime soon.

Amy Buchholz

Lancaster

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Return to college shows ?hopeful signs for youth

Sunday mornings often find me at a local Wegmans market, buying the necessaries for the week or the frivolities for pure daily munching pleasure. What a joy a recent day was unbeknownst to me it was back to University at Buffalo weekend, and the aisles were literally overrun with young college adults and occasionally proud and doting parents. I have never enjoyed shopping as much as I did that day.

I watched the groups, couples and singles literally wandering the aisles. They were en masse, pushing carts and speaking not only English but other languages, some of which I could not recognize.

But the very best part was how polite, how considerate and how willing to accept advice from strangers they asked about different products. I heard mand "thank you's," "I am sorry for bumping your cart" and "excuse me's."

To top it all off, I pushed my loaded cart to my car and before I knew what was happening two young gentlemen noticed my open trunk and unloaded the groceries, bag by bag, into the trunk.

That day made me hopeful that the youth, soon to be adults, is on the right path.

Minnette R. Epter

Buffalo

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Towns should seek help ?in dealing with beavers

Thanks to The News for alerting readers in its Aug. 12 article, "Busy beavers unwelcome in Amherst," that beavers were being trapped, even though it was upsetting to read.

I was relieved to read the next article on Aug. 21, "Amherst to halt trapping of beavers."

So much to be thankful for the beaver trapping has stopped; Amherst officials are open-minded enough to consider more no-kill options to beaver management and Animal Advocates of Western New York are involved. Valerie Will, who spoke on behalf of Animal Advocates, told the Town Board that they would sponsor bringing the wildlife biologist and engineer from Beavers: Wetlands and Wildlife to Amherst for a consultation on how to use non-lethal methods when dealing with beaver problems.

I've read about so many municipalities that have had success using humane methods to control flooding and tree damage caused by beavers.

I certainly hope that other towns that feel they have a beaver problem will contact humane organizations for ideas on how to peacefully co-exist with them.

Jodee Reeland

East Aurora