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The Daily Nightly began on May 31, 2005. As Brian wrote in his first post it aims to provide a narrative of the broadcast day and a window into the editorial process at NBC Nightly News. Brian weighs in every weekday and NBC News correspondents and producers post regularly.

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In support of Bangor's ban

I am struck by a story my colleagues are preparing for Nightly News this weekend that's also in today's New York Times concerning the city of Bangor, Maine. The city council there has made news by banning smoking in cars when children are present, effective immediately. Bangor is the first city to do this, but Arkansas, Louisiana and Puerto Rico have taken similar action, and several other states are considering it.

You don' t have to be a parent (I am one) to realize how much sense this makes in terms of protecting our children from the dangers of second-hand smoke. There are, of course, those who are protesting the Bangor ordinance as an invasion of privacy rights and who say the science doesn't support imposing such bans. It's part of a new front in the battle to restrict smoking, not just in public places, but increasingly, in the private realm.

Second-hand smoke concerns me greatly, and it is hard to avoid it. I regularly bob and weave my way through the streets of New York to avoid walking into someone' s smoke trail and often hold my breath when entering and leaving our office building here at 30 Rock so I don't have to breathe in from the cloud left by smokers on their breaks outside the revolving doors.

But it's the kids I worry most about, and it will be interesting so see whether other cities and states will now follow Bangor's lead and at least try to offer some level of protection for our most precious cargo, both on the road and off.

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COMMENTS

It's about making Liberals "feel" better like getting rid of DDT. They felt better, but something like 50 million Africans have died of malaria since then.

The World Health Organization study that was done over many years and one of the longest ever done. Showed a relative risk of under 1.0 it was around 0.80. This showed a beneficial risk of children raised in smoking households that did not smoke as adults. So whats the big deal? The largest anti smoking group in the world has shown that there is no risk of second hand smoke in children. It just shows none of this is about health its just about tobacco control and social engineering.

Good job on bringing out the foamy right. Life is precious! Precious! precious! - until it's born, then you can do any damn thing to it.

The man made global warming fear mongers use taxes on cigarettes as an example of what they want to do. This country collects 26 billion dollars a year in tobacco taxes, and about 500 million of that goes towards what they "claimed" they wanted the taxes for in the first place. The rest goes into propping up their ultimate goal of more union protected democrat obligated government employees. Let this kind of nonsense go on, and we'll end up like France where the highest dream anyone has is working for the government. In other words be part of the problem.

So next on the list in smoking in the home, than on to fast food, than on to no more abortions for the children..... Ohhh wait a minute, the last one is ok becuase its a right loved by liberals. So I guess its ok to say this is a liberal postion, not a child safty or adult health concern?

You "bob and weave" and "hold my breath" to avoid second hand smoke? I bet you're scared of the boogeyman too. You cannot avoid Death unless you avoid Life. By avoiding all of this you just make yourself weaker. Only the strong survive and that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Its nonsense, 2nd hand smoke has never been shown to cause illness. Remember the recent Surgeon General making headlines with his absurd announcement. Notice he did not make headlines when he recently resigned now did he. Why, because the report says nothing of the sort and he was outed...bye bye.

The EPA was caught changing data in the studies they had performed and the Federal Courts caught them and gave them a spanking. The EPA changed the criteria used for all other chemical exposures. They increased the error rate by 100% so they could then say it was dangerous. But the courts got wind of it and pulled them into court and ended the whole mess.

Its all a political scam and always has been...mostly to get money for grants etc. Just like most other "studies" such as Global Warming etc. As always, follow the money and see who is funding the GW studies etc.

Otherwise they would outlaw cigs...then we could arrest everyone and put them in jail.

Has anyone figured out why the Left wants to jail cig smokers, but legalize marijuana - coke etc....??

Im guessing it due to cigs being run by the evil "big corp." but the dope is from the "little guy" (mostly the little guy from Mexico with an AK47)

How can cigarettes still be legal? If this madness continues we will all surely end up dead.

What a marvelous idea! Speaking for myself I would gladly give up all my freedoms if it only saved one child. I think we should all sign over our children at birth to be the property of the State because, I for one, could not raise them without the constant oversight of my betters.

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
~ C.S. Lewis

You don' t have to be a parent (I am one) to realize how much sense this makes in terms of protecting our children from the dangers of second-hand smoke.

Apparently so much sense that you have to force people to do it.

You know, it probably is not the cigarettes,and it;s probably not the fast foods etc. that in its self is so bad, it is what the goverment is allowing the manufactures to put into these things that are wrong.
In my opinion that is where they should do some banning.But I do agree that no one should smoke in a closed car with ANYONE else in it, not just kids.

Elly, Texas

First I am a non-smoker and HATE cigarettes! But I agree that the ban is ridiculous, especially, as one reader pointed out, it's a bigger offense than not having a seat belt on. Would I like to see smoking banned, I would? But it will never happen and this is an unwanted intrusion in our lives. Rather than ban it in cars, educate the parents on what it might be doing to their kids. If you the smoker don't care about the effects smoking has on you, that's your business, but subject your kids to it.

I do understand the reporters "Bob and Weave" though. It's not to avoid the second hand smoke because of the harmful potential of it, it's to avoid the smoke because we hate the smell of it. It drives me nuts when I have to enter a building and the first thing you have to do is avoid the crowd of smokers who assemble right outside the front entrance because they can't smoke in the workplace. If you want to smoke, fine do so, but do it around the side of the building, not right in front where the general public has to walk right by you. I hold my breathe when I go through that line! And not because I am worried about "second hand smoke either".

anyone else struck by the irony here that the counter culture folks of the 60s are now the biggest control freaks this country has ever seen?

I'm a non-smoker and enjoy the smoke free restaurants but I also cringe at the nanny-state culture that produced that environment. I don't need these people to protect me thank you.

i'm all for a smoking ban as long as they add fat people to the same law ,, no more happy meals , no more dealing with an invasion of territory when at the theater or on a bus or airplane .and it would also save me time on the streets when i can walk past people instead of walking "around them.

Mr.Deitch,

Sir:
You have authored one of the most Politically Correct, disingenuous articles that I have read in months; actually I stand corrected, years. The mere thought of you squeezing your nose and holding your breath nearly brings me to tears of laughter. As if that was not enough, you have created a new dance, let’s call it the “bob and weave”. Then, absent of reason and prudence you toss in the ZINGER, it’s for the children, seemingly but cautiously stating that smoking within the presence of a child is the 11th commandment thereby condemning those transgressors as culpable sinners, willingly sacrificing the health of their little ones. I humbly apologize for what seems to be a verbal assault but you cannot be serious.

I am a smoker, have two adult daughters and have been blessed with a beautiful and healthy granddaughter. I don’t however, smoke in my home or my vehicle because I choose not to subject them to second hand smoke. That having been said, I strongly object to the legislators who use “the children” as their tenant to affect such an ordinance of law that imposes on any persons right to smoke a Marlboro within the confines of a private vehicle. As Mr. Jewell so well said, are our homes to be next?
As do you Mr. Deitch, I love the children as well but I also love a free and democratic society. “We The People” sir are slowly being indoctrinated to become good citizens of a police state society. Just a thought before I go, are the Bangor, Maine city council REALLY concerned about our children or is this just a revenue generating ordinance. Impossible you may think? No sir, not so far from truth as you may believe. I know a bit about these things.

Barry F,Round Rock,Texas/ Police Officer (Retired)



Morally, I agree that people shouldn't smoke around their children. That being said. I don't think that legally, the government should be telling us that we cannot smoke around our children. (I don't smoke. My parents did) The argument is that smoking around your children will kill them. Well, my parents smoked around me for 18 years, and I'm not dead. Almost 30, actually. It can kill, it can lead to lung cancer. I'm not ignoring that fact. Giving your children soda can lead to obesity. Giving your children lots of meat can give them heart problems. How bad does something have to be for the government to outlaw it. That is the reason I cringe when I hear the government outlaw something that is bad for us. It makes me nervous. I like my steak. I like my hamburgers. I guess it comes down to this. Smoking may or may not lead to lung cancer. It may or may not kill you. There are so many things that we do that may or may not kill you. Cholesterol may or may not kill you. Blood Pressure may or may not kill you. How potentially harmful does something have to be in order for the government to legislate that aspect of our private lives?

I don't have kids; I don't smoke. I loathe smoking; it offends me; I can't stand the stench. Having said that, this is getting to be way too rediculous. I totally agree with the reasons behind banning smoking in cars with kids, but I don't support the ordinance. We are simply allowing more and more government interverance in our daily lives. If you want to ban smoking..... declare it illegal. Then you can ban it in cars, in houses.... You already can't smoke in any public places in Maine. It's time for the government, at any level, to HANDS OFF OUR PERSONAL SPACES, in personal locations. That would include cars.

I do not agree with the ban. When are we going to start goose stepping? I hate smoking, I am an exsmoker. Lets not ban smoking in cars, lets think about when we will stop giving out rights up for a false sense of security. This is just more Liberal warm fuzzy feeling crap, it will not help in the least. Smoking is legal(so far).

This seems like another intrusion of government into personal family life. If second hand smoke is so dangerous, then why not ban parental smoking at home too? Children spend more time there than in a car. The law seems to be yet more politically correct grandstanding.

Acutally, I am more upset over NBC news coverage of this issue than anything else. The broadcast showed a politician comparing second hand smoke to abusively "breaking a child's jaw"! What an exaggeration! I am a counselor, and there's no comparison between the two. I usually enjoy watching NBC News but enjoy it less when it's politically correct biases show, as with this story.

I too live in Bangor, Maine but I have a major problem with this law. If someone is seen smoking in a car with a child in it, this is considered a primary offense and the car can be pulled over for only this reason. If a car is seen with children or adults not seat-belted, it is a secondary offense and they need another reason to pull the car over. So basically, this law is written that smoking around child is far more dangerous than having them not properly restrained in the vehicle. Seems to me like we need to "properly restrain" our lawmakers till they can get their priorities straight and stopping passing laws to appease the liberal left before we turn into a complete communist country.

some prices should be paid. ive heard the arguments about the 'cost' to non smokers and how smoking should be illegal because of it, i say nuts to that. freedom is worth any price. and the right to do as you will with your own body is the very heart and soul of freedom. i smoked for 12 years, chose too, i also chose to quit. no tobacco company made me, either start OR stop. if i get lung cancer so be it, if the government has to pay for my treatment, or part of it, so be it. i have paid taxes every day since i was 17 years old. i dont demand fat people stop eating so much since it costs me money to treat the FAR and away larger complications from over eating do i? i dont demand that all these do gooders stop driving SUVs since it costs me cash at the gas pump because they cant drive 5 feet w/o refilling their over sized tanks, i dont demand that the president tells the truth about the reasons for leading my nation into a war we cant win. ok so i got side tracked, but the simple truth is that freedom is more importiant than ANYTHING else in this nation. its more importiant than the cost of health care its more importiant than nosy gas bags with nothing else to do with their time making laws about how people can and cant raise their children, i got an idea instead of baning smoking in cars why dont we just take all children away from all parents everywhere and raise them in government funded institutions, im sure we could brain wash all of them to be model people inside a generation or 2, we could have the perfect society, where not one cent of money is spent needlessly, drugs and drinking are no longer a problem, smoking is a thing to read about in history texts, we all are united throughout the world and we are building our first star ship to set out and tame the universe. the only thing standing in the way of this perfect society is a little thing called freedom. who needs that though when you can just be a good sheep and let others make your decisions for you, clearly no one in this country can be trusted to make their own anymore.

here is an idea now that im done ranting, how about we take serious action to stop real child abuse? im sick and tired of hearing about the 'cost' of everything in this country, you cant read or watch a news program without having to hear the 'cost' of every bad thing they talk about within the first 3 lines of the article. money isnt everything, in fact it isnt really very much at all when you get right down too it. some things transend 'costs' like freedom of choice. even God almighty gave us free will, and if God didnt want to be in charge of how we raise our children where does any law maker get off deciding THEY can make better choices.

I am not a smoker; however, I am married to one.

If it becomes illegal to smoke in your car with children present, next it will be illegal to smoke in your own home with children present. Watch out America, Big Brother is watching.

As a taxpayer I find it deplorable that the US government continues to use my tax dollars to fund lawsuits against the tobacco companies, yet they allow them to continue selling cigarettes in the US. I think that it's about time they put our money where their mouth is. The only reason they still allow the sales in the US is to collect an incredible amount of lucrative tax dollars. I think they sould to begin to back up their rhetoric. Sue,allow the companies to still produce cigarettes in the US but don't allow them to be retailed here. If smokers want to continue to smoke, they can purchase them over the internet from another country. No other country currently is abolishing smoking. This way, they are not readilly available to children and those that are hooked can continue to smoke.

Such a smoking ban for adults in their cars with children is an idea whose time has come. I wouldn't mind such a ban's coming to my state soon. I say this having been the daughter of smoking parents who, whenever we went on family trips, smoked constantly and made the car smell like an ashtray. The smoke was hard on the eyes and could even give you a headache. This would spoil otherwise pleasant trips. The windows could only rarely be opened--either because in summer they'd let out the air conditioning, or in winter they'd let in cold air. I'd also get into how their smoking at night in small hotel rooms would produce a toxic gray-blue haze you could see, but cars are a good start...

Yes, second-hand smoke is dangerous to kids, so I think it makes sense to outlaw smoking in cars in the presence of children.

And talking on the phone is dangerous, too. I think Bangor should outlaw talking on the phone while driving with kids.

You know, come to think of it, more than 50,000 people die in automobile accidents each year, so I think we should outlaw kids riding in cars altogether.

Bunch of socialist simpletons...

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