The Bay of Plenty Times welcomes letters and comments from readers. Here you can read the letters we have published in your newspaper today.
Help pregnant smokers
Smoking during pregnancy does pose serious risks to a baby's health, but publicly denigrating pregnant mums for smoking (BOP mothers to be worst smokers 13/3/12) isn't going to help.
Telling them that they don't care about their unborn baby is victim blaming.
Smoking is highly addictive and many people don't stop until they begin to feel the damage to their body.
Most young women who smoke feel healthy and many pregnancies aren't planned.
Still, most of them do try to stop smoking when they find out they are pregnant.
It's staying stopped that's the hard part.
Keri Welham (12/3/12) implies that pregnant smokers must be dumb if they don't know the damage they are doing.
But where are the media campaigns warning about the damage of smoking when pregnant? There actually is little information out there.
Even if women found some, education alone is not that effective at breaking an addictive behaviour.
Hitting the pocket through increased prices, smoking bans and Quitline support are helping more people stop than ads and brochures.
Worse, pregnant women are still not getting support to stop as Miss Trainor (14/3/12) found.
Like many pregnant women who smoke, their partners and many of their friends and family smoke.
Others smoking is a key trigger to relapse.
Like the saying, it takes a whole village to raise a child, it's going to take the whole village to be a little bit more supportive and helpful by quitting themselves, not smoking around pregnant women, making more areas smokefree, encouraging pregnant women to use nicotine replacement and quit support services.
Dr Marewa Glover, Director, Centre for Tobacco Control Research, Joint director of the New Zealand Tobacco Control Research, Tauranga
It's not all right
Thank you so much for encouraging Susan Devoy to tell us locals what scumbags we have among our community.
After all Susan has done for us this is how we repay her?
I'm ashamed to call myself a New Zealander.
I don't believe for a minute that someone hasn't seen this happen or doesn't know about it, but we do nothing and the "I'm all right Jack" attitude prevails again.
But it's not all right and we as a nation need to be more proactive in trying to stamp out this entry-level crime, and that includes you, Mr Judge.
When the police catch these criminals, they need to be named and shamed, and hopefully this will start sending the message that it's not OK.
They also need a sentence with a modicum of deterrent attached instead of the wet bus ticket mentality prevailing in courts around the country.
Here is the solution: next time you see or hear of something in your community that isn't right, and unless you are totally deaf or have your eyes painted on, then report it to either the police or Crimestoppers. Tell them that you are "doing it for Susan" and don't stop "doing it for Susan".
It's the least you can do, as she sure has done plenty for all of us.
Brian W Brown, Tauranga Crime prevention
What is happening to our society?
I shifted into Bethlehem last May from Matua and I'm on a corner site off Beaumaris Blvd.
It's a tremendous area and I love it, but just before Guy Fawkes night (November 5) last year, our much-needed mailbox in front of Hadleigh Park got the treatment from crackers.
Consequently, there is no box there anymore and the PO is not replacing it.
They say it doesn't warrant putting it back, not enough mail going into it. I totally disagree, there were always lots of people putting letters into it and we all miss it immensely.
Now another thing: at 9.30pm last Saturday night the skateboarders used Beaumaris Blvd like a race track.
This is not a one-off, it happens every weekend.
Someone will get killed, I am certain of that. They go so fast down the hill, it's frightening. The motorists toot at them to get out of the way, it's so dangerous, it's a very busy road.
There is usually a group of about six of them. I think the police should do something about that situation.
Why don't they put humps on the road, that would make such a difference to that situation and also speeding drivers. Please do something.
Marie Ryan, Bethlehem
Fair water rates
I thought that the Government brought in user pays years ago. On my water rates bill, I'm using more water than average according to their chart.
I should be exempt from the increases as I pay for the excess use. I bet anyone $100 that if we have a drought next year and use more water they won't lower them back down.
P Kirkwood, Tauranga
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