Key West is the “land that America forgot” (or left alone) and where America still provides freedom. You can still smoke in most restaurants and bars in Key West. It may be troublesome for non smokers, however, most bars are indoor/outdoor with plenty of “air”. Therefore it seems to me that you can cohabit-ate with both smokers and non smokers and not be bothered. In Key West, it seems that everyone loves the freedom of expression and it does nothing is bothersome and no one is concerned with what the other person is doing. Everyone has a good time in Key West no matter your habits, freedom of expression, race, color or gender.
On the other hand, let me preface this by saying that Key West IS changing. I have noticed a lot of “big box” venues taking over. Also, many new hotels are being constructed and a lot of the economy hotels being torn down. They are also adding pay for parking machines in parking lots as well as on the streets. Therefore, Key West is changing.
However, Key West still has character. There are plenty of places you can find off the beaten path where you can savor the tastes, sounds and smells of old Key West.