The case for banning cigarettes
2016 (English)In: Journal of Medical Ethics, ISSN 0306-6800, E-ISSN 1473-4257, Vol. 42, 293-301 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Lifelong smokers lose on average a decade of life vis-à-vis non-smokers. Globally, tobacco causes about 5–6 million deaths annually. One billion tobacco-related deaths are predicted for the 21st century, with about half occurring before the age of 70. In this paper, we consider a complete ban on the sale of cigarettes and find that such a ban, if effective, would be justified. As with many policy decisions, the argument for such a ban requires a weighing of the pros and cons and how they impact on different individuals, both current and future. The weightiest factor supporting a ban, we argue, is the often substantial well-being losses many individuals suffer because of smoking. These harms, moreover, disproportionally affect the disadvantaged. The potential gains in well-being and equality, we argue, outweigh the limits a ban places on individuals’ freedom, its failure to respect some individuals’ autonomous choice and the likelihood that it may, in individual cases, reduce well-being.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BMJ Group , 2016. Vol. 42, 293-301 p.
Autonomy, Population Policy, Public Health Ethics, Public Policy
Ethics Philosophy Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-112178DOI: 10.1136/medethics-2015-102682ISI: 000375093300008PubMedID: 26578712OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-112178DiVA: diva2:876375
ProjectsLibertarian Paternalism and the Moral Limits of Public Health Policy
FunderForte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2009-2189