Raising tobacco age will cost state much revenue

New Jersey bill S359 raising the legal age for buying tobacco products to 21 became law and enforceable last month. The state nonpartisan Office of Legislative Affairs estimates it will eliminate $19 million in tax revenues for the state in the first year alone.

Legislators who voted for the bill, including local representatives, should have a plan to replace those funds. If they don’t, they should explain why one isn’t needed.

Sue Kesterson

Mays Landing

Political mailing baffles

Like many American families, my family has members who are Democrats and others who are Republican. Normally we can sort mail into his and her piles by looking at the sender. But last week we both got mailings supporting the same candidates from the same sender — the mysterious NJCORE of 10 Hamilton Ave., Trenton.

An internet search on NJCORE didn’t turn anything up. But a search on the address turns up the N.J. Association of Realtors.

Voters have the right to know who is pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into local elections. NJCORE should make clear what it expects from elected officials.

Shoshana Osofsky


Enforce gender equality

Regarding the Nov. 5 Inside Story column by Executive Editor Kris Worrell, “Newsrooms giving women a voice, but not quickly enough”:

I was devastated to learn that women in the U.S. newsrooms account for only 39.1 percent of employees when women comprise something like 51 percent of the population. I am outraged.

I also noted that when my trash was picked up last week, no women jumped off the truck. While watching TV, I’ve determined that rodeo clowns, NFL players and fishermen, whoops, I mean fisherpersons on the show “Deadliest Catch” are severely underrepresented with women.

We need a congressional investigation into this discrimination, which should include a review of all jobs to determine exactly where there are less than 51 percent women and to levy appropriate sanctions and fines.

Chuck Weber


Vote for gun controls

Familiar refrains come out of Washington anti-gun control politicians after every mass shooting in the country — now is not the time to talk about gun control and our prayers are with the victims, their families and first responders. God is not going to fix this.

Enough with the platitudes. Let us elect people to Congress who will put constituents’ interests before National Rife Association campaign donations. The number of victims per mass shooting incident seems to be increasing. The Las Vegas shooting saw a lone gunman kill 58 people and wound hundreds more.

Many incidents involve military-style weapons like the AR-15 and AK-47 with high-capacity magazines that can extend firing before reloading. The law that banned such weapons was allowed to expire, and now they can even be adapted to fire similarly to an automatic weapon with an off-the-shelf conversion kit.

People with mental issues, abusive partners who avoid federal background checks and people on terrorism watch lists have been able to buy guns. People who should not have guns can get them through private gun sales and gun show sales, thus avoiding the same background checks that buyers undergo when purchasing through registered dealers.

People who support the same inertia-bound politicians in Congress should blame themselves when the next mass killing occurs.

Nick Reina