I came across the below snippet while skimming a Yahoo!
forum with the topic "Do smoking Bans Work? Will You quit on July 1st?"
I don't have the habit but would like to kick those who now smoke in every entrance to every no smoking facility!! We now have to breath in smoke when entering and leaving buildings. It stinks!!
Why are smokers devoid of consideration for others? It is a strange phenomenon but smokers really don't seem to care about what they are doing to themselves or others.
(All spelling and punctuation is the original author's)
Now, you might think that this response to the forum is somewhat off-topic, as it fails to address either of the questions posed directly. I, however, would hasten to the respondent's defense, and claim that their opinion most concisely and elegantly provides a pre-emptive answer to the hypothetical question of whether next summer's English smoking ban will have, in the long term, worked, or not:
Smoking bans don't work: smokers are still smokers, and anti-smokers are still wankers.
I must have made my point badly here, because a fair few friends glided past it without grabbing hold of the crux of the matter. It's not that I want smoking bans the world over to be repealed, or not enacted. I have no strong position on the smoking ban as such (except in cases such as New York, where there was very little consultation and the ban, which is one of the most severe in the world, was enacted all at once in the face of sensible public opposition - and even then, my position is not that smoking should be allowed, but that the process should have been undertaken differently).
No, what I'm objecting to is the fact that no matter how much smoking is hedged about with restrictions, no matter how badly the freedoms of smokers are curtailed, there will always be those who feel a moral need to be disgusted and outraged that they were not curtailed further. It's a prohibition-by-the-back-door kind of creep: from smoking everywhere, to smoking everywhere except smoke-free zones, to smoking nowhere except designated smoking areas, to smoking nowhere indoors, to smoking nowhere outdoors that is public, to no smoking in your car, to no smoking in your apartment if other apartments have their windows open, to not smoking in your garden if the neighbours complain, to not smoking in your living room if you have pets. If you're going to prohibit smoking absolutey everywhere one could conceivably light up, then why not just criminalise it outright?
The fact is, as long as smoking is not an illegal activity, then people are within their rights to smoke. But the fact also is that there will always be some idiot on his soapbox prating on about how smokers "smell" and "have no basic human decency" and are "inconsiderate". In the current climate, I don't see what other consideration smokers can offer their non-smoking persecutors, other than maybe public humiliation along the lines of a scarlet letter "S". Except of course to just do as we're told and stop smoking, saving all those nice politicians from having to enact actual laws to regulate our behaviour.