I don’t smoke. I have never smoked. Not even once. I find it utterly disgusting. I state this up front to give you my bias.

But the rush to ban smoking in public establishments like restaurants strikes me as unconstitutional and just another step on the road to soft totalitarianism. If a restaurant or bar wants to allow smoking, guess what– I can choose not to go there. There is nothing in the constitution that requires me to go to the casino, nor has the Leader yet made it mandatory.

And this is not the equivalent of banning persons of a particular race or gender (discrimination on these grounds is prohibited by the constitution), nor is it the same as allowing drug use (this, unlike smoking tobacco, is illegal activity).

In the end, the viability of the business will be affected by its decision. If enough people refuse to patronize a diner because of the smoke, the business will either ban it, provide effective separate seating or go out of business. Likewise, if smokers keep a place in business because it allows smoking, then it benefits them and the business.

Do we really need to run everybody else’s lives this minutely?