Jacob Grier looks at Arlington, Virginia and sees the benefits of a light touch in anti-smoking regimes:

Arlington makes an interesting test case. It’s one of the wealthiest, most liberal cities in the country, and residents would surely approve a smoking ban if they were allowed to. Fortunately they’re restrained by Virginia law that forbids local anti-smoking ordinances to exceed the state’s own rules. Every year a statewide ban is introduced in the senate and immediately shot down by the tobacco-friendly house.

The fact that popular bars and established restaurants are voluntarily choosing to restrict smoking shows that ban opponents have been right all along: given demand for smokefree environments, profit-seeking business owners will eventually provide them, if not as immediately as a legislative ban would. And as someone who generally prefers bars with clean air, I think that’s fantastic as long as dive bars like Jay’s or the backroom cigar lounge at EatBar remain free to set their own policies too.

On a related note, Steve Verdon doesn't take kindly to the idea of "third hand smoke."

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.