A tendentious article in the tabloid Washington Examiner – so upscale and establishment-bound that it is delivered free only in certain ZIP codes – makes a front-page headline claim today that “Indoor bans don’t stop smoking’s toll.”
The evidence for this remarkable claim is a report by the International Union Against Cancer that tobacco may kill 1 billion people in the 21st century. Of course, that is a global figure and based on current trends. Even if smoking rates went down, so many people are being born, there are going to be more smokers and, thus, more cancer.
The article cited as further proof that smoking bans don’t work the opinion of a local politician that “There’s very little federal and state governments can do to control people’s habits.” That pol may have been riding his motorcycle too long without a helmet, driving too far without a seatbelt or too busy groping someone to realize that governments every day do and should do things to control people’s habits.
The tobacco companies are sued, shamed and shunned at home so they have to sell their products in other countries; that is what the dire billion-dead prediction is really all about. As well as about restaurant owners who are so bad at business they fear failing if they give patrons what they want – no smoking.