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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Lock, stock and smoking barrel

UK Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson has called for smoking to be banned in public places including bars and restaurants. The Department of Health has said that there are no plans to implement this but are considering the proposal.

Smoking is unpleasant and dangerous, it is sensible to encourage people to give up. However the proposed ban goes too far. The individual should retain the right to choose.

It would be acceptable to ban smoking in genuinely public places such as railway waiting rooms. However bars, clubs and restaurants are simply private leisure businesses which the public can choose whether or not to enter. Many of these would undoubtedly gain customers through choosing to provide non-smoking areas or choosing to ban smoking on their premises whilst others allow it. That would provide customers with increased choice.

This proposal would set a dangerous precedent. In a free society the role of government should be education and regulation, not prohibition.

Cross-posted from The Chestnut Tree Cafe

2 comments to Lock, stock and smoking barrel

  • Snide

    This is a superb article. We know that to be under survaillance brings risks of state control far beyond suppressing criminal acts but we rarely think about the dreadful social consequences of living with the knowlage ‘Big Brother is Watching’. This needs to be shouted from the roof tops. Well done.

  • Snide

    Oops. My bad. I meant the previous comment to go with your previous article… nobody’s business but my own.