Birdlover, morally speaking, I completely agree with you about illegalizing smoking. It truly doesn't serve a purpose, and is just an addicting habit now to those who try it. I would love it if cigarettes could successfully be outlawed, but I don't feel that possible -- practically speaking. Look at how successful the drug bans have been -- how many people do you know that have/ do smoke weed? And I'm not talking about the ones with the medical licenses. I know A LOT. And like many people pointed out, the enforcement would cost a fortune in taxes to constantly put these already addicted people in jail. It would be difficult to enforce period. Like I mentioned before, look at the effects prohibition had -- it was hardly successful. Why would banning something that's even more addicting be successful? And technology is better now, I'm sure we would all be amazed of the underground smoking world we would inadvertently create. So I am satisfied to simply have it banned from places that affect me. I think that even if it was outlawed, people would still smoke outside fairly often and still smoke in their homes. It might be slightly less prevalent -- but then it might become an even more intriguing sort of "taboo." Who knows. At this point, I feel that there is enough education about the effects of smoking out there that people are all making a conscious choice about their health. If they make a poor choice, then it's not the government's place to try to force them to be healthy. You can't protect everyone from their own stupidity -- as difficult as that can be to accept. But I do think it is the government's place to protect those people around them that did not make the unhealthy choice. And honestly, there is a reason that the no-smoking ban is spreading -- it's successful! People like it. The majority likes it. The basis of democracy.
As far as the arguments about cars go... First of all, the only laws we're talking about here are ones that affect indoor locations. Like Heidi said (kudos), we are not allowed to drive our cars indoors either. Outdoors, yes there is pollution. That is a huge problem with many factors. It would be nice if we could solve those problems too, but that is a completely unrelated issue to this. None of the arguments against the ban are really relevent to the subject we're discussing -- which is banning smoking inside public places. If smoking gets banned outdoors, then sure, come back and rant about cars some more.