First, can we get that old "I have a right to fresh air" myth out of the way? No such right exists, and even if it did, it is unenforceable. Shortly after we fell out of the trees, started to walk upright, discovered fire, then discovered how to start a fire and control it, fresh air went out of the
Luckily, for the governments of the day, there was a scapegoat waiting in the wings.
This wee beastie:
Nicotine protects against a nasty condition called Pellagra. All smokers are naturally protected but governments knew that they had to protect all the non-smokers too. They launched Nicotinic Acid as a supplement to our daily diet. The anti-smokers were horrified. They campaigned and had the name changed to Niacin (a contraction of nicotinic acid) but still, the more idiotic amongst them continued to howl. Eventually the name was changed to vitamin B3. Someone should have told Kellogg. Check the ingredients in that bowl of cereal. Someone should have told Warburton. Check the ingredients in your daily bread. In fact, Niacin is part of your daily diet whether you want it or not. It is in dozens and dozens of products.
Nicotine protects against Alzheimer's Disease (AD). If you prefer your news from an anti-smoking source, you can start with the BBC. If you want to dip into one of my favourite sources of information, pop along here and read away. Non-smokers, you will discover, have higher incidences of AD, Parkinson's, Colorectal cancers, ulcerative colitis and even Tourettes Syndrome, for fucks sake.
From the same piece you will notice that smokers have better cognitive abilities too!
Quitting smoking kills you stone dead. People are often amazed when I quote the figures from this study-unique in the field of science, most anti-smoking groups (who fund these studies) stay the hell away from facts like these. (Note the usual caveat "Smoking is very bad for you and you must quit").
Pub closures cost the Treasury big time.
Pub closures since the bans were enacted here and here.
From my own recollection, the number of closures in England in 2005 were 102, in 2006 it was 204, and in the last six months of 2007 (the ban took effect in July) the number of closures was over four thousand. Please note that this was 7 months before the recession/downturn kicked in. The anti-smokers always blame the economic downturn and they are always wrong about it.
How smoking protects against lung cancer. One of my all time favourites. The logic, and the evidence, is stunning.
Of course, every anti-smoker you come across will say "Second hand smoke has killed hundreds of thousands of people this year alone!" My standard reply to them? Name three.
Anti-smokers misquote or downright lie about the available studies on second hand smoke all the time. If you want a close look yourself, you need to understand the difference between relative and real risk. They are a world apart. Scoot back over to Dave's place and bone up statistical risk. I guarantee that the very next story you see in the Daily Mail wailing that the sky is falling, you will understand why it isn't falling at all.
Once you graduate from Statistics 101 you are ready to go visit Forces International to see all studies between 1981 and 2006, and you can see at a glance which studies were statistically significant and which ones weren't. I won't spoil the surprise for you.
I'll stop there. You have a fair bit of reading to do to understand why second hand smoke is about as harmful as a pixies fart.
But let's end with good news: Tobacco will be used in the fight against cancer.
If I have missed anything you care deeply about, or feel that I have not proven my case, do let me know and I will provide more links than a sausage factory.