Doug, I agree with you 100% I too am an ex smoker though I was never really addicted, it was more of the crunch of holding the cigarette in my hand. I decided to quit one day made it past 3 months, then 6 then a year and never looked back. I haven't smoked in over 20 years.
But I have worked in bars for 13 years so I am getting the effects of second hand smoke. I got pnuemonia a few years ago and gasped for air, I had to do daily treatments with a nebulizer for my lungs. I felt like I was drowning, it was the worse feeling in the world, I coughed up blood. I will never ever take my lungs for granted as what happened to me was just a taste of what people can go through and I could not work for 2 months. I also have seen my friends mom suffer and die of lung cancer, my uncles girlfriend die of lung cancer, etc. I worry I will die of lung cancer from all the second hand smoke I've had to breathe in order to pay my bills and this is not fair.
Here in Chicago they are slow to pass non smoking laws, the midwest is backward compared to California! They passed a sweet heart deal in Chicago which means that unless you serve food you can still smoke, and even this will take 3 years to fully implement. Our mayor got a nice pay off from the bar owners Im sure! By the time any changes are made I will probally out of the industry as I am already taking steps to go back to school. I think no one should be allowed to smoke in a public place period. It harms other people. Everyone should rent the movie The Insider with Russel Crowe if they want to know the truth about tabacco industry.
Even if this fire was not caused by a cigarette it is a cause of many other fires.
My uncle survived one of the worst school fires in Chicago history some 96 children died if he didn't jump from a window on the 2nd floor he would not be here today. His class mates are not. He was only 12 at the time. Fire maims and kills. Why gamble with peoples lives for other peoples addictions?