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How important is freedom of choice?

Discussion in 'Tobacco / Nicotine' started by jimoor, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. jimoor

    jimoor Member

    Hey guys, with it looking as though many governments are trying as much as they can to dissuade people from continuing/starting smoking, do you think that at some stage they will outright ban it? I'm sure that the tobacco companies would be up in arms and many smokers would argue that the government is suppressing their freedom of choice however, if everyone was forced to either stop or cut down it would clearly be good for the health of the populous.

    Perhaps rationing would be a good solution? Maybe make it so that smokers are restricted to a certain number per day which gradually decreases until they are no longer smoking. I would love to hear some other opinions on this.
  2. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    At the end of the day, it is a matter of personal choice. If the government were to ban cigarettes, then underground markets would just arise and who knows what the contents of a cigarette would be then. People would try to maximize profits by mixing harmful things into the tabacco. At least there is some accountability now with them being manufactured.
  3. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    I don't think cigarettes will ever be banned, they bring in too much revenue in taxes for the government to consider prohibiting their sale. Rosyrain makes a valid point about black market cigarettes - who knows what sort of stuff goes into them?
  4. changingcups

    changingcups Member

    I do think that smoking should be the choice of the user. I know that second hand smoking is harmful but this is prevented from just being considerate.

    I don't think that governments should involve themselves too much in personal choice, we don't want a 'nanny state'.
  5. JulianWilliams

    JulianWilliams Active Contributor

    I'd prefer them not to ban it as they'd just create another black market the mobsters to get rich off of. I'd rather have the cigarette money go to the healthcare system.
  6. 23arrow23

    23arrow23 Member

    Freedom of choice is a great concept but it should not affect anyone else but yourself. With that in mind, smoking is known to harm not only smokers but also other people who are exposed to second hand smoke. I think that this is the point where your freedom of choice as a smoker should no longer be valid.
  7. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I also do not think that cigarettes will be banned considering those giant companies or corporations behind it. It will be really a personal choice for others who still want to smoke even there are cautions in the cigarette packets that smoking is dangerous or can kill.
  8. bsthebenster

    bsthebenster Community Champion

    They tried banning alcohol, look what happened. Aside from whether or not it would actually work, I think it's morally wrong to tell people they can't indulge in something. I think banning of tobacco to minors and educating them of the dangers is great, but it should stop there.
  9. Shimus

    Shimus Community Champion

    Freedom of choice is everything from the moment we're born. The choice to have a society. The choice to impose rules and sanctions. This as far as we know is something only Humankind does. No other known species, bird mammal or otherwise does this. The closest is "pack mentality" of different feral animals, like wolves. And the 'Family' mentality of the Monkey family. Still, this mentality does not constitute a "Society" but rather a Hierarchy.

    That being said, try banning different things. We had a revolt once, it could happen again. Start telling people what they can do, what they can't do... it never ends well. Revolutionary Wars were fought for less. Drugs could be addicted too for way less than even that.
  10. elles-belles

    elles-belles Community Champion

    I agree with you on this one. I don't see smoking being banned at all! Even if it was to get banned people always come up with creative and dangerous ways of satisfying their cravings so I also think it would be a terrible idea in the long run. People should really be left to decide for themselves and live their lives as they choose especially going off freedom of choice. I do get the benefits of rationing though.
  11. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Banning smoking or limiting the number of cigars a person smokes in one day won't stop keep people from smoking. How many drugs are illegal currently? There's a huge number of them. Do people still use them? Lots of people still use those drugs. Why? The government lacks the ability to enforce such a law.

    So best to let people choose either to abstain, or smoke but teach the kids about drugs in school so they know what they'll be getting themselves into should they start smoking.
  12. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I don't think it ever will or should be banned. First off because I don't think banning things is an effective solution at all. Second, I don't think banning things is the adult way of going about every little problem we face as a society. It's already regulated and I think that's already good enough, and in fact I think it's what should happen for all other banned substances. People should have the right to do what they want with their own bodies because none of us should have more of a right to dictate our will upon others especially if there is no threat to our own well being.
  13. Rodrigo1337

    Rodrigo1337 Member

    I feel like it could be a slippery slope if a government banned the use of something like cigarettes. If it wasn't shot down before getting passed, or repealed soon after being passed, then the government would just turn to the next thing to ban. But, since smoking is so prevalent, addictive, and profitable for many people in government(speaking of the U.S. here since I'm not so sure about other countries), I don't think that a government would ban it. Then again, the U.S. did ban alcohol at one point, so who knows.
  14. Beautyspin

    Beautyspin Active Contributor

    The reason any govt fears banning smoking is - it will be ineffective. They loose money. There are strong lobbies who fund their campaigns. What will you do with the tobacco? So you have to ban tobacco growing. That is an even more powerful group. Till that is done, it is difficult to implement. I would like them to ban tobacco growing but I know that is not going to happen.
  15. Rodrigo1337

    Rodrigo1337 Member

    You know, I knew this, too. Why didn't I post it? Gah.

    But yes, you're right, the lobbyists would prevent any meaningful change in the law, and even if it did go through, you'd have something along the lines of prohibition era crime/bootlegging.

    I'm not too sure about the specifics of growing tobacco, but I feel like it would fall into the same way that marijuana is grown and sold illegally. Obviously it would have a harder time since there are differences between how much is needed vs. the cost of growing vs. how much one could sell it vs. how long the effects last before needing another "fix"(for lack of a better word) when comparing marijuana and tobacco, but there would definitely be a market for though.
    Beautyspin likes this.
  16. Prohibition is not a technique that's very effective. The government would essentially just cut off its own share of the profit. Where there is a demand there will be a supply and it's virtually inevitable. I also believe this applies to other drugs as well. These sorts of things should be taken up more as a social issue than a legal issue and would I feel that we would have less of a substance abuse problem in the United States.