Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee wants a national smoking ban. He says it is a workplace safety issue and compares subjecting restaurant workers to cigarette smoke is like exposing them to radon. He asks us not to think of it as a consumer issue.
I suppose, he doesn't want us to think of consumers, because that might lead us to think of the market, specifically, the free market. (Hint: I'm in favor of it!)
We can assume most bar patrons and employees are aware of this hazard and can choose accordingly to subject themselves to the smoke or to avoid the smoke. Bar owners can choose the amount of smoking allowed which maximizes the profits enjoyed. Smoking is not an externality, as pointed out by economist David Henderson in the latest issue of Econ Journal Watch.
So Governor Huckabee, do you want to be a health nanny, or do you just find the free market unpalatable?