We sell the enola Gaye smoke grenades (ring pull type) frequently and thus far haven't had any issues with them (besides the occasional person not reading the directions and being confused by the operation of them).
The idea of having the ref place the smoke grenade is pretty cool depending on your ratio of referees to players, but part of the fun of the smoke (or paint grenade) is being able to deploy said items as rapidly as you want.
Our players are told to yell "grenade" before throwing paint grenades so a ref can position themselves to see the splatter, or be aware that they need to check for dead players upon deployment of the grenade.. Perhaps this is something that could be included for smokes as well.
Whenever I see a smoke on the field (Already thrown or about to be) I check on it to determine fire hazard, also I've seen them land in a crummy spot or end up facing in a bad direction so I run over and slightly move it to allow better smoke distribution.. I've mentioned this to my staff, but maybe this could be a quick training session for new refs. Just one of those things that adds to a customers experience.. That way nobody feels like they wasted money on a smoke. (people who really suck at throwing things probably know this before hand and likely won't be upset if they really bif a throw, like I tend to do). This method is slightly less invasive and allows for those crutch quick decision throws.. With some mild aim assist after the fact
As far as blind firing is concerned, I don't see it as much of a problem because new players typically don't throw a smoke and then hide in it.. They use it as a screen between both teams. Most of the time any kind of blind firing would be extremely inconsequential anyway.. Just a waste of paint. Those smokes put out so much volume that it's hard to tell where exactly a player might be in the smoke.
I think tvise has the right idea.. It's really a discretion call by a ref, and something that shouldn't be written in stone. Perhaps outline a few scenarios to refs and train them on what to do when. If someone is ripping 12.5bps through smoke that a rental just threw.. Ok boss, bring it down a notch. If someone with a 98c is shooting at the flag pole because the rope at the top of the pole is moving but the base is smoked out? Get him! He's getting the flag!!