Should people be forced to wear them? I really don't know. They do catch and trap most droplets when people speak or cough. Those droplets carry the virus if the person is infected. These particles can travel for more than 6'. So by wearing mask you're protecting the other person more than yourself. Since most of us don't know if we've been exposed to the virus that's not a bad thing.
Wearing masks until they're damp and smelly is of course unhealthy. I would think that's common sense. We use the disposable ones. We toss them out when we get home.