CNN.com: Commentary: Why not prohibit smoking? by Tony Newman
Excellent OpEd comparing the status of tobacco with prohibited drugs to demonstrate the inherent stupidity of using criminal prohibition as a tool for attacking drug abuse or drug dangers.
Instead of giving teens “reefer madness”-style propaganda, we have treated young people with respect and given them honest education about the harm of cigarettes, and we have been rewarded with fewer young people smoking today than ever before.
Although we should celebrate our success and continue to encourage people to cut back or give up smoking, let’s not get carried away and think that prohibition would eliminate smoking.
We need to realize that drugs, from cigarettes to marijuana to alcohol, will always be consumed, whether they are legal or illegal. Although drugs have health consequences and dangers, making them illegal — and keeping them illegal — will only bring additional death and suffering.