Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (5):293-301 (2016)

Authors
Kalle Grill
Umeå University
Kristin Voigt
McGill University
Abstract
Lifelong smokers lose on average a decade of life vis-à-vis non-smokers. Globally, tobacco causes about 5–6 million deaths annually. One billion tobacco-related deaths are predicted for the 21st century, with about half occurring before the age of 70. In this paper, we consider a complete ban on the sale of cigarettes and find that such a ban, if effective, would be justified. As with many policy decisions, the argument for such a ban requires a weighing of the pros and cons and how they impact on different individuals, both current and future. The weightiest factor supporting a ban, we argue, is the often substantial well-being losses many individuals suffer because of smoking. These harms, moreover, disproportionally affect the disadvantaged. The potential gains in well-being and equality, we argue, outweigh the limits a ban places on individuals’ freedom, its failure to respect some individuals’ autonomous choice and the likelihood that it may, in individual cases, reduce well-being.
Keywords Smoking  Paternalism  Public Health
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Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1136/medethics-2015-102682
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References found in this work BETA

The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Philosophy 63 (243):119-122.
Paternalism.Gerald Dworkin - 1972 - The Monist 56 (1):64-84.
Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism.Sarah Conly - 2014 - Journal of Medical Ethics 40 (5):349-349.
Autonomy in Moral and Political Philosophy.John Christman - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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Citations of this work BETA

Double Standards and Arguments for Tobacco Regulation.Jessica Flanigan - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (5):305-311.
The Case for Banning Cigarettes.Sarah Conly - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (5):302-303.

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