I'm not a smoker. However, I do believe in freedom, even for habits I don't agree with or enjoy myself. That freedom can and should extend even to smokers who are hurting no one. That's why this anti-smoking movement is just nutty.
Why should we allow public smoking? Well, first off, these people are bitching about something that's really not such a big deal. So what if someone smokes around you? As long as there's plenty of space to get away from them, it seems like a no-brainer to move. These anti-smoking nuts seem to forget that there's a thing called mobility which would allow them to get away from the smoke. They pretend like they can't move away from a smoker at all. Now, I understand enacting smoking restrictions in places like airplanes. ...But in a bar or restaurant? In a public park or beach? That's just insane!
Secondly, the case for "secondhand smoke" is murky at best. Even though they claim there are loads of studies 'proving' that secondhand smoke causes all these problems, it's not so cut-and-dried. Those who do studies on the subject are not always that credible. The fact is, secondhand smoke does not "cause 50,000 deaths" per year! 50,000 is over 10% of all those who die from cigarette smoking annually (450,000). I'm supposed to believe that 10% of that number die from simply being around smokers? Get real. Economists like W. Kip Viscusi who have done great research on this issue have found that the case for "secondhand smoke" is wildly exaggerated. Smoking and inhaling a little smoke from a smoker's mouth are two very different things and to make some kind of equivalence is just ridiculous.
Even if secondhand smoke did cause all these terrible diseases and deaths, so WHAT. It's not like we don't have methods of mitigating the smoke. The first method is always to move somewhere else. Another important method is to allow business owners to install ventilation systems and non-smoking sections. Let the market work; people will figure out for themselves if smoking is bad enough not to patronize certain businesses. That's worked pretty well, if you ask me. The anti-smoking crowd is simply overstating the "problem" here for political correctness.
These anti-smoking freaks are just pansies and douchebags who want to impose their will on the rest of us and hate the smell of smoke or whatever. They're a larger part of the nanny-state movement. They don't want to accept the fact that some people do things we don't like. They're just like the moralists on the Right with their "family values" bullshit. Instead of moving away from smokers, like any sensible person would do, they'd rather say "Smoking is bad! You can't do that! My 'right' to be away from smoke is more important than your right to consume." I'm sick of it! Let adults eat and consume whatever the hell they want! This is my right as an American. You have no right to judge us and impose bullshit legal restrictions, esp. on business owners who have property rights. Don't like how a business owner allows smoking? Get the fuck out and patronize elsewhere! It really is that simple.
It's funny how the anti-smoking and nanny-state crowd bitch about "increased healthcare costs" because of things like obesity and smoking (although the latter actually cost less net dollars because they tend to live shorter lives). Yet they never complain about cheats and dirtbags gaming the welfare state. They rarely complain about increased regulatory burdens on the economy, especially for regulations that don't have much of a net benefit to society. This is pure politics, as usual. The anti-smoking crowd only cares about control, not health. The "public health" reason for their campaigning is just a smokescreen (all pun intended).
No one has a right to tell us what's best for us or deny us the ability to take some risks; we make those decisions for ourselves. It is the American way, after all.