Lifestyle Economics

Smoking ban proposals ‘illiberal and absurd’


Energy and Environment

Andy Mayer quoted in City AM

In the Media

Matthew Lesh writes in The Spectator

Christopher Snowdon writes in Spiked

IEA Head of Lifestyle Economics Christopher Snowdon has written in Spiked, criticising former Chancellor George Osborne’s proposal for a gradual smoking ban.

Christopher wrote:

“Whatever the reason, [Osborne’s] argument for prohibition is terrible. ‘Of course you’re going to have lots of problems with illegal smoking’, he admitted, ‘but you have lots of problems with other illegal activities. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to ban them and police them and make [them] less readily available.’ But the problem is not so much that people will smoke illegally – it is the illegal imports, illegal sales, violence and corruption that will emerge to facilitate this smoking.

“You only have to look at Australia to get a taste of what would happen. Cigarettes are still legal there, but they are prohibitively expensive, costing nearly $50 (£26) for a pack of 25. The Australian government introduced plain packaging for cigarettes in 2012 and this week, it doubled down on its ban on e-cigarettes. In 2021, the Australian Border Force seized 879 tons of tobacco and 713million cigarettes. This represents a tiny share of the amount of tobacco that is illegally grown and imported each year. Last month alone, police in New South Wales busted a 20 acre farm growing 16 tonnes of tobacco and, in a single raid in Sydney, the Australian Border Force seized 28million cigarettes and 10,000 kilograms of tobacco worth $49million (£26 million). Australian television networks broadcast stories that are reminiscent of 1920s Chicago.”

Read Christopher’s full article here.