I believe that the public who's assisting someone financially should have some say in whether or not a person smokes. It is unacceptable that a person could damage their health by their own risky behavior and then have the public foot the bill for their actions. No one likes intrusions into their lives, and yet the taxpayer can't afford to be exploited in this way.
I think that if somebody is on public assistance, then they should do whatever needs to be done to ensure that the money isn't being wasted due to unnecessary behavior. If somebody who has asthma is smoking, then they should have to be made to quit or risk losing their public assistance.
I do not believe an asthmatic person, even one on public assistance, should be forced to quit smoking, if they are a smoker. The problem with this suggestion is the fact that there is no way to enforce it. Secondly, people should be left to make their own decisions. The bit about public assistance shouldn't even be included in this question, that shouldn't matter. Yes, we would all like to see these people quit smoking and we understand that smoking is bad for a persons health. However, passing judgment on people does not change the circumstances or help the person to quit.
The problem here is that you can't just force someone to quit smoking. The only way you can do that is to throw them in jail, and are you really ready to start locking people up for smoking cigarettes? Our prison system is already brimming and this would just add to the mess.