It’s easy to dismiss ‘nanny state’ regulation as a minor nuisance but the underlying paternalism of those who wish to regulate our lifestyles raises fundamental questions about the limits of government intervention. It is an issue about which social liberals and market liberals should be united in opposition. Economists take it as a given that ... Continue reading
Lifestyle Economics
E-cigarettes have become by far the most popular smoking cessation aid in the UK, helping hundreds of thousands of people - in Britain and further afield - to ditch cigarettes for good. But surprisingly, when we look around the world - we see countless examples of health authorities doing their best to obstruct the manufacture ... Continue reading
Plain packaging has arrived. As of May this year, all cigarette packets must be standardised, with the same murky green colour, font, size, and alignment of text on boxes. Over two thirds of every cigarette box will now be devoted to graphic health warnings. 10-packs, once the preserve of the social smoker, will also be ... Continue reading
Lifestyle Economics
Last night we learned that the government plans to change the law to ensure that cigarettes are sold in plain packages. The ostensible goal of reducing the number of smokers may be well-intentioned, but in practice this will be a policy with a negligible health impact and extremely worrying repercussions for black market activity. International ... Continue reading
This morning I was on the radio discussing electronic cigarettes in response to a headteacher banning their use at Blatchington Mill School, East Sussex (listen from 12 minutes in). The school has every right to make its own rules, of course, and it is as appropriate for a teacher to ban e-cigarettes in the class ... Continue reading
Yesterday saw the US Chamber of Commerce, the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue, the Emergency Committee for American Trade, the National Association of Manufacturers, the United States Council for International Business and the National Foreign Trade Council warn of the threat to intellectual property if the British government decides to mandate ‘plain packaging’ for cigarettes. They join ... Continue reading
Should the NHS bribe people into leading healthy lives? Should there be cash incentives paid out when people eat less junk food, quit smoking, drink less alcohol etc? In a BBC News Channel debate with Mark Littlewood, LSE health economist Zack Cooper rejected the charge that there was anything patronising about these proposals. He quoted ... Continue reading