You support Health & Safety? What have you been smoking?

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Sat, 2006-01-14 20:35

Excellent article from the times about the stupidity of a smoking ban in public places in the UK.

"Why should a doctor be any more inclined than other MPs to vote for a total ban on smoking? There can be no doubt that doctors are so inclined, not just individually but collectively. The British Medical Association is always calling for unhealthy substances, such as tobacco and fattening foods, to be banned, regulated or taxed. And they do not restrict their regulatory requests to comestibles. In 2000 they called for the regulation of Calista Flockhart on the ground that watching her on TV causes anorexia nervosa...

Politicians always claim that their safety regulations are motivated by concern for people doing dangerous jobs. Yet the beneficiaries are always people who do not do dangerous jobs. Workplace health and safety measures are a zero-sum game in which wealth is transferred from the brave to the timid...

Such policies can look like a good idea only to people suffering from a health fixation. If Howard Stoate is right that “as a doctor” he cannot help himself, then perhaps we need to consider another prohibition: a total ban on doctors in parliament."

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Probably Not

Marcus's picture

Nearly all the politicians will vote with the majority opinion, they will not be moved on this one.

Sad, but true - the majority supports a total ban and politicians must vote with the majority otherwise they are accused of being out of touch with voters. Blah!!!!

By the way, I just discovered that that author of this piece is a NZer. A philosopher interested in truth. Intriguing Eye

We have a ban here in

Titan's picture

We have a ban here in Montana. It's absolute bullshit. God, you'd think that at least in America this kind of crap wouldn't be a problem. I'm sure that the Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves. Marcus, does it do any good for Englanders to contact their rep's in the House of Commons?

It's happening here in Chicago, too

Pete L's picture

Chicago just passed a ban on smoking in public places, although the ban wont take affect for bars and restaurants for another couple years. While I'll enjoy the smoke free environment, the whole principle behind it is cause for concern.

Nearly every safty

Christine's picture

Nearly every safety protection law does little more than to stifle free enterprise and spawn an econimic wrecking ball in lawsuit litigation. Politicians are too busy harping about the public good to consider that even the most trivial protection laws have millions of economic consequences, some unforseeable, some blaringly apparent.

The promblem is that polititians and the media have the entire country terrified or death-- too terrified to notice that they're more likley to die of heart diease than exploding hairdyers, that its innovation, not regulation, that will save their lives.

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