|Perl: the Markov chain saw|
So you think it is a "civil liberty" to smoke ?
If you were to consider deeply the historical reasons for smoking, the environment factors that cause people to smoke, the weight and effect of marketing in driving sales, I think you mightn't be so fast to throw smoking into the over-used (abused) civil liberties argument.
I agree with and subscribe to the defense of Civil Liberties. However, it does this cause no good to water down the concept with arguments such as yours.
An extension of the argument you put forward is to legalise all narcotics. I wish I could be sure that you would baulk at such an idea.
Kids, in spite of us, thank God, are not programmable. While we all strive to help them avoid horrible pitfalls, your statement Fine, teach them that smoking is bad for you. is glib to the point of banality. Two brief points to note:
I think everyone has to concede that the cigarette industry is one in which a few people (Cigarette companies) do well out of and millions (smokers - active & passive) suffer from.
Cigarette companies spend millions every year to promote their products.
It is the duty of government to ensure that the individuals rights are protected against such producers.
Believe it or not, there are times government passes legislation that is not part of some major Orwellian Plot to turn us all into proles.