Making everyone do what they’re told

The more often an idea is repeated, the more acceptable it can seem. Remember how crazy fat taxes and carbon taxes sounded at first, until they became our reality? Simon Chapman, the Action on Smoking and Health director in Australia, has proposed a smart card license for smokers, designed to limit access to tobacco and incentivize cessation. Perhaps, we should look for cupcake and beer licenses in our future.

Public Health Proposal Considers Mandatory ‘Smokers License’

A public health proposal suggests that tobacco smokers should be required to apply and pay for a “smoker’s license” in order to continue buying cigarettes. In this week’s PLOS Medicine medical journal, two leading tobacco control advocates debate the merits of the smoker’s license. Simon Chapman, a professor at the University of Sydney, proposes that users would have to apply and pay for a mandatory license in the form of a smartcard that would be shown when buying cigarettes. Dr. Chapman wrote that it could discourage young people from picking up the habit.

In a controversial move, the smartcard would allow the government to limit how many cigarettes a smoker could buy….Citing future scientific benefit, Prof. Chapman wrote that the information collected from smartcard applications could be used to formulate better smoking prevention strategies.

“Opponents of the idea would be quick to suggest that Orwellian social engineers would soon be calling for licenses to drink alcohol and to eat junk food or engage in any ‘risky’ activity,” Dr. Chapman told the Daily Mail.

11 responses to “Making everyone do what they’re told

  1. How about this: one national photo ID card acceptable anywhere in the country, with endorsements for smoking, alcohol, marijuana, driving and voting, To prevent ID theft we could have the QR code tattooed on the card owner. /sarc

  2. When government pays for your healthcare, government will demand control of anything that affects your health, including: what & how much you eat/drink; how much & how often you exercise, and what kind of exercise; what activities you engage in (forget mountain climbing and scuba diving – too dangerous); etc. (Ditto when government controls the availability and cost of energy.)

  3. Not to worry. Those greedy unions will wipe out the cupcakes. Hostess is shutting down and laying off 18,500 people. Who needs taxes when we have unions?

  4. There are really only two political philosophies: those who wish to control people and those that have no such desire. With this definition it is easy to see who is in which camp. We are screwed.

  5. Another goofy idea to control the masses. Do they want people to smoke or do they want them to quit? Seems that we’ve added taxes on tobacco to pay for non-tobacco related things. If there is real cessation, then how do we pay for those things? Tax on former smokers? Another piece of idiocy and control.
    As a former smoker I know how addictive the habit is. I also know that no one forced me smoke.

  6. Laurence M. Sheehan, PE

    I have been smoking about a package (20) non-filtered cigarettes since I was 14 years old. I am now 76 years old, and have excellent health. I know a good many others of my age and older for which the same is true. Obviously, smoking tobacco is not in the least harmful to human health, and in fact, has health benefits.

    • Mr. Sheehan, you’re going over the line.

      Yes, there is evidence of benefits of tobacco smoking for Alzheimers, but the damage to the lungs from smoking is beyond question. While the extent of the damage and its effects have been greatly overblown in the media through ludicrous misuse of peer reviewed “research” papers, declaring that it doesn’t exist is ludicrous. Your experience has been fortunate, but it is an example, not a rule.

      • EVERYTHING has both positive and negative effects. The circumstances which results in the decision of which outweighs the other are highly idiosyncratic. Even hemophilia can be beneficial – it leaves you less prone to strokes or DVT.

  7. The government taxes the hell out of tobacco products, requires the industry to put health warnings on each package which would lead one to believe smoking is harmful. Yet this same government provides agricultural subsidies to the farmers for growing it. Is this a great country or what?

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