Bjørn Stærk doesn't blog about political matters much any more (as opposed to those like me who just don't blog much any more), but this post is excellent.
The war on nicotine will have taught us a dangerous lesson. It didn’t have to: It could have taught us that we should take care of our own bodies, and not fill them with things that will kill us. Instead we have learned that when a voluntary habit carries some risk, it’s okay to harass people and control their lives until they change their behavior. If we defeat nicotine, we did it by allying with our inner authoritarian conformist. Will we be able to put down that which we have called up? Will we even want to?
I worry about this as well. I hate cigarette smoke and it even makes me sick sometimes. However, the extent to which government intervention has been used to force smoking out of privately owned public places is very disturbing.
Using the force of the state to coerce behavior, even if it really is objectively for people's own good, is always a dangerous precedent.