It’s ten years since the introduction of the smoking ban in the UK; ten years since an act of social desecration was carried out against the fibre of British culture.
The drive against tobacco, and more recently nicotine, continues apace, with plain packs, advertising limits, and strict controls on e-cigarettes now the norm. Chris Snowdon of the IEA, though, has taken the tenth anniversary of the ban to discuss what effect it has had in a broader sense: the knock-on effects of this most blatant piece of paternalism.
Far from changing Britain for the better, pubs and British nightlife have been on the decline ever since. Smoking rates are down, but depression and suicide are both up: a direct result of forcing smokers away from the communities that would once keep them propped up and in check.
Furthermore, the ‘success’ of the ban has let the nanny-statists out into the open; now there are moves afoot to curb alcohol consumption, whilst junk food, and even meat are increasingly coming under fire from the healthists. The floodgates have been opened; illiberalism has been unleashed.
Ten years on, could one say life in the UK has markedly improved? Has it reduced expense to the public purse? Are mortality rates among second-hand smokers on the decline? Is the NHS not still ‘in crisis’?
You can see more of what Snowdon has to say here.