One of the best things about living in California is the comprehensive ban on indoor smoking. Cigarettes are even disallowed from restaurants and most bars.
While Libertarians may disagree with such laws because it interferes with the rights of individuals, I like to argue it frees the rest of us from the tyranny of smokers. Best of all, I can take my kids to a restaurant without them or us coming home smelling like a smoky bar.
It seems cities, states, provinces and nations around the world have been following California’s lead. Britain’s Parliament, for example, just voted for a total ban on smoking in indoor places, reports The New York Times. Ireland banned smoking in public places in 2004.
Other places that have legal restrictions on public smoking include: most Canadian provinces, India, New Zealand, Norway, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Chicago, New Jersey, New York and Washington. For a more complete list, check out this Wikipedia entry.
California cities have gone one step further in recent years by banning smoking on beaches. Why? Even though the health benefits are limited, our beaches were looking more and more like a giant ashtray, which costs these cities millions of dollars to clean up each year.
These bans on public smoking greatly improve the quality of life; I hope governments continue to extend their scope.