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All ‘bad habits’ will soon be treated like smoking

All ‘bad habits’ will soon be treated like smoking


The government wants to tax, ban or reformulate our vices. Slipped out in the dying days of Theresa May’s administration, the government’s consultation paper on the future of health deserves more attention than it received at the time. One of the main messages from the paper is that the methods employed to attack smokers will be applied with increasing enthusiasm to every aspect of our lifestyles. Most widely publicised was the government’s plan to eliminate smoking by 2030. As Christopher Snowdon pointed out on spiked, the aim is much bolder than before: prohibition, rather than reduced use. The argument is as follows: if tobacco products are available for sale, a proportion of the population will want to use them. The only way to ‘eliminate’ smoking is to ban it altogether. Of course, as the experience of prohibiting various other products tells us, from alcohol in Prohibition-era America to cannabis, heroin and cocaine today, a ban on tobacco products would not actually…
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