May 31 is “World No Tobacco Day” event sponsored by the World Health Organization, dedicated to reducing tobacco use.
While the goal is laudable, but it is equally important to consider how we are to reduce tobacco use. Is the person makes a personal and voluntary choice to do so, or we will strengthen the government to keep tobacco products out of the hands of people? A look at the world of the web-site Tobacco Day that the World Health Organization advocates the latter approach is to increase government intrusion into our personal lives. This is a small cause for celebration.
I say this as a non-smoker, who prefers to dine in smoke free restaurants. But I have friends who smoke, and I respect their decision to do this because it is rooted in the enjoyment of fundamental freedoms. Progress in society – economically and otherwise – should be to different people, including smokers and nonsmokers, agree to cooperate in the peaceful and civilized ways. This is achieved by providing citizens with freedom of choice in their actions as long as he respects the same rights of others.
Broad government-imposed smoking bans, such acts as sponsors World No Tobacco Day, lead us on this front in different ways. The negative impact associated with the object that led to their antagonistic interactions with other people. This is the opposite kind of relationship that must develop in civil society. Second, the total ban of smoking to deny the human rights of smokers choice. In order for us non-smokers to be indifferent, we have already seen how the same mentality produced a proposal to ban all of the current panic is health, including salt and Trans fats. The right to use other products that you enjoy may be the next thing, it is fashionable dissatisfied.
Third, and finally, a ban on smoking within their tolerance for businesses and owners who may want to serve smokers. They not only violate the rights of smokers – they impose restrictions on freedom of association and the agreed exchange. Everyone says that imposes compliance without consent, and this is a recipe for persistent, damage to social discord. An excellent approach is to seek agreement without Conformity. In practice, this means that the consent to permit smoking and smoking establishments to operate freely – and leave it for all of us to choose the one that we prefer.
Tolerance means respecting the choice of an implicit exposed to smoke or not. Where this option does not exist – in enclosed public places and, as lifts, courts, and public transport – smoking bans are reasonable. However, entering into a private institution, which allows smoking, we fully agree to be exposed to tobacco smoke. One of the stronger and more genuine public health arguments for a ban on smoking is that smokers are sick more often, with public insurance (and most private insurance), often picking up the tab. But even here, the supporters of a blanket smoking ban miss. The correct solution policy is not draconian ban, but a blow to the root of the problem: markets are inflexible insurance. Just let the smokers pay higher premiums than non-smokers – and thus pay for their high cost of medical care.
Tolerance is one of the most important forces in a large, bustling, cosmopolitan culture, like ours. The consequences of poor health habits (eg smoking) should not be an occasion for the enactment of laws in conflict with our core principles. So that’s a social transaction, we must strive to: a non-smoking law must be respected, smokers should not have a preference other forced upon them. Can you imagine the results if we are dedicated to promoting this ideal day around the world?
John Gatton with Karen is a professor of economics at the University of Kentucky.