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Letter to the Editor – April 10

From Kenneth Hart, president, Saint Alphonsus Medical Center Ontario:

No one knows Oregonians’ health better than the state’s health care providers. 

Our providers are there when babies are born, we provide support to parents as they raise their children, and help patients with end-of-life care. Oregon’s health care providers truly dedicate their lives and careers to the health and lives of all. 

However, there are still many preventable deaths in Oregon every year. Currently, tobacco causes almost 8,000 deaths per year, more than motor and firearm accidents, alcohol, and illegal drugs combined. 

In Malheur County, nearly 25 percent of all adults smoke, and Eastern Oregon has one of the highest rates of tobacco-related deaths in the state. These numbers show tobacco use continues to take a toll on . . .