[FoRK] Re: Smoking

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Tue Apr 12 19:56:36 PDT 2005


Lucas says:

> the state might well have a compelling case to ban smoking
> outright in order to protect smokers and potential smokers.

This would be the "nanny" element I'm talking about.  I don't think 
it's the business of government to protect people from themselves and 
the consequences of their own choices --- indeed, I believe the very 
definition of "freedom" INSISTS that this be avoided.  That's the 
bottom line here.  It matters not whether the risk in question is 
smoking or bungee jumping or eating too much red meat or watching too 
much TV or line dancing or shooting smack in the eyeball or running 
with scissors.

In a free society it is presumed that citizens are adults capable of 
making their own decisions.

But to your point, Lucas, you've hit the nail on the head.  The real 
"problem" at the heart of the anti-smoking crusade is moral outrage, 
NOT public health policy.  Most folks that are vehemently anti-smoking 
would, in clearer-headed moments, just as vehemently disagree with some 
populist crusade to ban various other risky but less politically 
volatile activities.

Free means free.  Accept no substitutes.

jb

PS - another sound bite, just for uptight Ian:  the only thing that's 
completely intolerable is intolerance itself.



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