Of all the topics we cover in "Consider This", none receives more response than commentaries on smoking.
Two weeks ago, we raised the issue of Bangor, Maine's law prohibiting smoking in a car when a minor is present. The responses on both sides of the issue were passionate.
"I applaud the city of Bangor, Maine. Children need to be protected from second-hand smoke." wrote one viewer. "This new anti-smoking law in Maine just reinforces how out of control our government has become; what people do in the privacy of their own homes and their own cars, is their OWN BUSINESS." wrote another.
One viewer said, "I think sometimes its people like you that cause all of our rights to go away"; while another, after listing a litany of reasons why he disagreed with the ban, chided me for mispronouncing Bangor. Sorry, Dennis, Merriam-Webster says both pronunciations are correct.
Finally, one viewer said I should, "Quit whining and talk about something important...like an exit strategy for Iraq." Well, we wish we knew a good exit strategy, but we don't. What we do know is, based on the most recent report about second-hand smoke, being exposed at work increases the risk of developing lung cancer by 24 percent; and people working in places with constant exposure -- like smoky bars -- have an even greater risk -- double those of people in smoke-free workplaces.
So, like it or not, smoking bans in the workplace, public places and some, like the ban in Bangor, are probably headed our way. That's what we think. Tell us what you think.