I am usually never in favor of increased government regulations but I must say that the trend toward outlawing smoking in public places is a welcome one for me.

I grew up in Tokyo Japan where it seems EVERYONE smokes. It is really incredible how common it is and you can even buy cigarettes from vending machines. No age restrictions or anything to get in the way and it seems very strange now that I have moved back to the States.

What you do in your own home is one thing but smoking really does affect other people when you do it in public. When I was a teenager in Japan I had several jobs and in each one I was exposed to smoke. There was nothing I could do other than quit. This is sad because young kids looking for jobs for 16 year olds just shouldn’t have to deal with second hand smoke in the workplace. At least that is how I feel.

In America the rules and regulations have gotten more and more strict and I view that as a good thing. It is hard to believe that just 40 years ago you could actually smoke in a plane! And all restaurants and stores are now smoke free as they should be.

Opponents of smoking laws somehow think that the smoke they spew doesn’t affect anyone else. They must be too used to that disgusting smell to realize that they reek and other people don’t want any part of that.

They complain that this used to be a free society and they should have rights too. Yes, this is a free society but we are not at liberty to hurt others and smoke does hurt others. The bottom line is that smokers just don’t understand how offensive their habit is which is a shame.