(Original post by Flying Cookie)
First of all you raise the issue of business owners having the right to have a smoking business. The only type of business I can imagine which would cater for smokers-only are those centred around the act of consuming, well, cigarettes. A card shop, clothes shop, estate agents, restaurant, etc. could not possibly benefit from allowing smokers in, because the topic of their business is aimed at the whole public - that same public who mostly does not smoke, or tolerate smoke (2).
Smokers-only and smoker-tolerating people could, of course, have their own restaurants and bars. I don't think that should be illegal any more than weed shops should be. Yet the fact is that in the light of point (2), and especially in the light of discovery relating to the harmful effects of cigarette smoke, this option for business owners has been banned.
Secondly, you compare the risks of driving a car to smoking. I think they are not comparable for two reasons. Car accidents are instant and unpredictable, while disease linked with smoking is cumulative and predictable. Driving all your life will either kill you instantly at a random given point, or (as it is the most likely case) be completely harmless to you. Smoking, on the other hand, all your life will cause an accumulation of carcinogens and other substances which will most likely lead to one or more diseases. These disease could either kill you or decrease the quality of your life. Every single cigarette smoked contributes to the pool of cumulative damage in the body. The same cannot be said about driving or being in a driven car.
Thirdly, I completely agree that people should be held accountable for the jobs they choose to have. After all, no one is forcing them to choose their life's work. Some people work as miners and as a result inhale toxic substances which can lead to disease. There is no way of preventing this easily. Some soldiers die in battle. There is no way of preventing this. Some builders get injuries, and there is no way of preventing this.
Tell me exactly what job involves inhaling cigarette smoke which is not preventable?
On the same point, I agree that in certain circumstances it is acceptable to employ people in high risk positions and compensate by paying extra. However, this is not always a good strategy, as exemplified by poor people selling a kidney or other organs. These people do not decide to accept the risks, but rather are persuaded by the rewards. Equally, the employees are likely to just put up with the smoke for the pay, rather than honestly take on board the risks. Giving your life for your country, digging up metals for the industry are worthwhile activities with great communal benefits; but passively harming your health just so someone else can enjoy harming theirs due to addiction? I cannot possibly see that as worthwhile, no matter the reward.
A nurse saving lives in A&E and a barmaid pleasing smokers are two, very, different, things. It is an absolutely disgraceful and ineffective comparison.