Bill Richardson has made his state the very latest to ban smoking:
Richardson, who occasionally smokes cigars, said he decided late last night to support the bill.
"Each year, more than 53,000 die in the United States as a result of this exposure. Secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States. . . . In my mind it doesn't make any sense to continue to allow smoking in bars and restaurants," he said.
The measure prohibits smoking in all workplaces across the state, including bars and restaurants. It takes effect June 15. Individuals violating the ban would face a $100 fine for a first violation.
That's a fairly low fee for the first offense, as these things go. So, can anyone think of another case where a presidential candidate burnished his resume by signing a smoking ban? This seems like the best proof so far of the bans' unassailable popularity.
Read some of Reason's reporting on smoking laws here.