What I wanted to do was say thanks to the people who commented on my idea; whether or not they agreed.
Since I'm new to the site I may not have discovered how to reply to comments and enlarge on a previous contribution. I notice the moderator has requested we add comments to previous strands; this is unsatisfactory because then I can't reply to you personally, also, I think our contributions will be lost if the government ever decides to act on any of this.
I thought Matt was being unreasonable. It is possible to segregate areas in public spaces and minimise cross contamination; industry does this all the time when dealing with processes involving fumes and dusts. It only depends on how tolerant Matt is willing to be; if he requires that no single atom of my smoke will reach him, then that effectively negates my freedom, because no pub will be able to install that sort of local exhaust ventilation.
Controlling smoking similarly to the controls on Cannabis will be about as effective as those controls are; in other words, not at all. Prohibition rarely works.
A point I didn't make in my original contribution was that smoking in a public place is not simply a misdemeanour, it is a crime. So the smoking ban potentially criminalised millions of otherwise law abiding people overnight. This can't be right…
What minority will impose their will next? Ban eating meat? (extreme vegetarians) Ban alcohol? (extreme Islamists and Christians). You can see it coming can't you? Need I go on?
Why does this idea matter?
For me the smoking ban is symptomatic of what is happening in too many areas of personal behaviour. The old feminist observation that 'the personal is political' seems to have been reversed. Now 'the political is personal'. There is nowhere the state doesn't deem it its place to intrude.