I haven't read all the comments on Seth's post, but I'll give this debate a shot.
As a smoker, I say, just make them illegal. I can't smoke anywhere anymore anyway. Not in my car, not in my home, not at work, not in outdoor parks, and soon enough not in any restaurant in the state.
When I do light up standing outside in the freezing cold, wind, rain, dark alleys and bent over in my car, I get nasty looks, stares and comments!!!
Comments??? by perfect strangers, nosey nobs who for some reason think that by overtly harassing me, a perfect stranger, they are doing me a favor. This leads me to stress about how to hide my "nasty" habit which of course makes me light up another cigarette.
When Doyle announced this plan, I immediately left my desk, went outside in the cold, and had a cigarette. Cigarette deaths are up not because of smoking, but because of all the people going outside to smoke and catching pneumonia!
It's time the entire product is made illegal. If the doctors and tavern owners can't make money off it, why should the growers and the state? Why allow tavern and restaurant owners more than one killer drug product anyway?
And another thing, I think it's a great idea to make drunk women stand outside bars alone in lousy neighborhoods all over the state. That should cut down on abductions, rape and murder...
As I observed in Boston, New York and San Francisco, making smokers stand outside bars in huge drunken packs, angry because their beer is inside getting warm and that chick they wanted to pick up is inside changing her mind, makes for great conversations between the drunken smokers and the local neighbors trying to get some sleep at 1 AM on a Tuesday night because they have to close a deal at 7 am. Why not start those lively drunken outdoor conversations all over Wisconsin?
And why should tavern/restaurant owners have to decide which patrons to cater to? Which ones will bring them the best clientele? Why would that be part of their ownership responsibilities? Why shouldn't the government tell them that it's more profitable to have a non-smoking establishment? Why should market forces be allowed to make that decision for them? I mean their business owners for christs sake, who would want to trust them to make a business decision on a LEGAL product? I can tell you, the bartenders in New York are really thrilled about the $500 fine they get if someone lights up while their back is turned.
Go ahead and just make them illegal to grow and sell nationwide, I'll get my cigarettes from drug dealers like the pot smokers do. It works so well to ban that and it worked so well to ban alcohol, that it's worth a try. Can you imagine if instead of banning alcohol, they decided to ban bars? That would have worked really well...just ask Utah who for some reason still tries this tactic.
It'd be worth it just to put the damn GOP soaked tobacco growers with endlessly deep political pockets all over the south out of business.
One thing is for sure, until they make the cultivation, distribution, sale and use of tobacco illegal nationwide, I stand firm that location of use and taxes is a lame way to stop people from smoking.