People quit smoking for all sorts of reasons, most often because of health concerns, either their own or those of loved ones. Smokers know their habit isn’t healthy. But outlawing a legal activity isn’t as much of a deterrent as some might like to believe.
It just turns ordinary citizens into pariahs, “socially unacceptable” and condemned for their habit while others practice their own distasteful –– and potentially dangerous –– habits without the scorn of friends, family and even strangers.
Smoking is a bad habit. Smokers know it. But turning smokers into criminals isn’t the answer. Raising cigarette prices has been somewhat effective, although that has created a black-market trade that will only get worse.
Attempts at prohibition didn’t work with alcohol. And let’s be honest: It hasn’t worked with drugs. Why would we expect it to work with tobacco?
This is the type of reasoning that makes the anti-tobacco people crazy. As long as tobacco is legal people will smoke, it is just that simple.