Smoking is a source of great controversy, and most individuals either support it or oppose it. Almost no middle ground exists on the topic of tobacco smoking, and individuals against smoking have taken great strides to promote the cessation of smoking in public places. Unfortunately, this has led to the formation of numerous laws that forbid smoking in specific public places like restaurants, bars, parks, and in some cities, even street corners. Smoking bans target a very wide demographic, alienating regular customers of some establishment and killing business in others. If only for this reason, most smoking bans should not be in place.
In the United States, smoking bans vary greatly between states. Even in specific states, different jurisdictions often come with different laws. The American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation released a statement in 2011 stating that almost 80% of the population lives under some sort of smoking ban. That same foundation has worked tirelessly to successfully ban smoking in all public places including bars, restaurants, workplaces, and even public streets. Their logic is that banning smoking will cleanse the air of impurities that smokers choose to ingest, but should not inflict onto others.