Concepts

Economics‎ > ‎Choice‎ > ‎Bans‎ > ‎Ingestion‎ > ‎

Smoking

Should smoking be banned?

What is smoking?

Definition:  

The act of inhaling smoke from typically burning tabacco.

Wider definition

Is chewing tobacco smoking?

The case for banning smoking

What's wrong with smoking?

Smoking costs the taxpayers and society money

One argument for banning smoking is that costs money to taxpayers who fund healthcare. That is a fair argument, why should non-smokers pay for smokers. But there is an alternative to banning smoking in this case. That is to ban state funded healthcare.
Smoking doesn't cost the health system much as people who die of lung cancer would have died from another illness if they hadn't dies from that.

It harms others

And when you drive your car or hop onto a bus or you buy something made of plastic, use pesticide on your lawn how many things do you use that will increase the risk of death for others?

The situation

Governments have a duty to protect our life, liberty and property, however most confuse this with a duty to 'protect' us from anything that can harm us.

While smoking does not face a blanket ban, it does face bans in certain places, Advertising, and in lieu of a blanket ban, stealth taxes have been applied to make the purchase more difficult.

No-one denies that smoking can be detrimental to your health. It is also widely recognised that smoking can be a difficult, but not impossible habit to break. 

What our 'protectors' fail to acknowledge is there is any benefit from smoking. They have decided that there is no benefit to smoking, or that the costs of smoking are greater than the benefits. But buying cigarettes is a personal voluntary choice.
The 'protectors' have a moral arrogance that says what is good for other people is the preferences that they would choose for themselves. They have no idea how much upside smokers get from their habit.

One of the major benefits of smoking is it tends to be a great conversation ice breaker.

The protectors know best

The Saudi Arabian government think their citizens should not show skin.
Western countries governments think their citizens should not smoke.

Most western countries governments would find the Saudi position totalitarian.
But the western position is the sane, the only difference is what is being prohibited. The western politicians cannot understand they are being totalitarian in the same way.

The case against banning smoking

Ownership rights eroded

Today, the "owner" of a restaurant is really just a "manager" and "supervisor" of City, State, and Federal Rules and regs...

Can your customers smoke? First they said yes, then they said you must create a special place for non-smokers, then they said you must create a special place to put smokers, then smokers had to go outside, and now, State wide, smoking is just not allowed. Nowhere in that chain did the OWNER get to decide...it was all decided for him/her.

Advertising

Plain packaging

  • There is no evidence that standardised packaging will have any health benefits.
  • Illegal Class A drugs come in plain wrappers too, with no branding or marketing or advertising whatsoever... it doesn't seem to have curbed demand of those.
  • No matter what you do people will find a way to have their fix. 
  • If they make plain packaging for tobacco, other products will be next.
  • Packaging is not what gets kids smoking - it's peer pressure. 
  • Why can't they leave smokers alone?
  • All it will do is create a whole new industry in cigarette box covers with the original design logos and branding.
  • Who smokes because they like the packet? I think they like the contents!
  • However the governments weird reverse-psychology is bound to backfire as the "cooler" looking brands also tend to be lower in tar, nicotine and Carbon Monoxide.
  • The more you push smoking underground, the more cool you make it.
  • What happens when branded cigarettes are brought in from other countries
  • Illegal and very harmfull "fake" cigarettes are a big problem too and plain packaging will make this counterfeiting even easier.
  • If the cigarettes are hidden from view in the shops, then making the packaging plain, will make no difference to sales.
  • If plain packs have no effect on sales will the law be reversed?
  • Forcing plain cigarette packages is a destruction of property in terms of the brand cigarette companies have built, will the companies be compensated for this wilful damage?
  • The politicians should have something more important than this to focus on
  • If somebody doesn't care that they smell, have yellow teeth and prematurely aged skin why would they care about having their cigs in a plain wrapper and see it as uncool?
  • Its a waste of police resources to enforce this.
  • This is another form of intolerance
  • Discard all packaging and sell them loose. This is where it leads.

Differentiation

  • The removal of advertising has meant that there is less incentive for tobacco producers to make their products safer. Because if they did, they wouldn't be able to advertise this fact and capitalise off it.
  • This will lead to filter tips becoming the advertising medium.

Consistency

  • Will the same rules against smoking be applied to drinking, eating, other drugs?
  • Smoking is bad, but so is bullying, if not worse. Why not put a ban on government bullying?
  • How about those addicted to controlling others behaviour to do what's best for them, should they be banned too!
  • What would the anti-smoking lobby say if they were forced to smoke. They would undoubtedly say being forced to smoke is wrong! Why should they argue that being forced not to smoke is right when smokers say being forced not to smoke is wrong?
  • Stressfully putting up with self righteous do gooders who feel a need to dictate to everyone else! Also shortens life.

cakes,
biscuits,
chips,
crisps,
Fizzy drinks,
Sugar,
Fat,
bacon,
meat

 

Income and expenses

  • Banning smoking will reduce tax from the sale of cigarettes, and reduce income from tobacco parties to political parties.
  • Smokers die younger and won't draw their pensions.
  • Less revenues on tobacco mean more taxes on something else. 
  • Shopkeepers will be also punished by the ban, this also affects tax revenue
  • The government gives people money to smoke via benefits, if they really wanted to stop expenses going on smoking they would tie benefits to not smoking.
  • Removing branding will worsen the trade deficit, as more branded boxes will be brought in from overseas
  • Tobacco farmers in poor countries will lose their jobs.

Responsibility

Smoking does not generate litter, people generate litter.

What's next

  • Banning scenes in TV shows and films from showing people smoking to remove it from a social norm?
  • People say smokers should stay indoors as the smoke affects them. But then this should apply to noisy kids, cars, dogs. The world is full of irritants, and those that say this should be the ones to stay indoors.

Why not an outright ban

People need to look at the 1920's America prohabition to learn why the government hasn't banned cigarettes.

Our say

  • We should have a say on how are taxes are spent; 
  • We never had an opportunity to vote against the smoking ban;
  • We never had a chance to vote against plain packaging; 
  • there hasn't even been a 'consultation' about government funding the anti-smoking lobby from our taxes...

Alternatives

How about we take all the tax income from tobbacco sales give it BUPA and treat all smokers privately?

Reference

Souces

Links

http://www.ash.org.uk/ (Anti Smoking lobby)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19690450
http://www.jti.com/careers/career-areas/ (promote freedom to smoke, potential ally).
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25939908


Comments