I debated Smokefree DC's Mike Tacelosky a while back, and he seemed convinced that even if we won this round, smoking bans were the wave of the future. I'm actually inclined to think that the opposite is the case: The longer we can hold out against such bans, the less likely they become. I say that because, as I wrote here back in November, it's pretty clear that the bar and restaurant market is stuck in a suboptimal equilibrium between smoking and nonsmoking climates at present. As time passes, though, the market will (as it is already beginning to) adjust to growing preferences for smoke-free environments.
When the vast majority of bars allow smoking, the nannies get to base their case, not on the universal God-given right to drink anywhere you like without smelling like smoke later (even they seem to realize that's a non-starter), but on the poor oppressed worker who has "no choice" but to risk her health slinging bottles at some hazy dive. (Many of said workers, in my experience, consider the ability to smoke on the job a definite perk, but never mind them…) When it's more like a fifty-fifty split between smoking and non-smoking bars, the notion that people who accept a job in the smoking bars have nowhere else to go, not all that plausible at the outset when you consider that you'd have to stay in such a job for quite a while to reach an exposure level associated with any significant risk, becomes still harder to swallow.