Here is an article about a recent book on J.S. Mill, which raises interesting points about public debate.
The author of the book thinks Mill would be pleased with various bans on public smoking, which made me think about ASUSU’s recent ban on smoking on USU’s campus. What do people think about this ban? My own view — and yes, I am a pipe smoker! — is that the ban wasn’t really driven by public health concerns. To get harmed by second-hand smoke, the research says that you need to be about 18 inches from the smoker and inhale deeply for a long time. Walking past at a 10-foot distance really doesn’t harm you; sunburn should be a far greater concern. Anyway, I think the ban was lifestyle-driven: mainly, self-righteous LDS students, in conjunction with ill-informed public-health zealots, put the hurt on counter-cultural smokers. Tyranny of the majority, as Mill would say.