Simon Chapman, an Australian anti-smoking activist, argues in PLoS Medicine that "new, creative, and radical efforts to achieve the tobacco control endgame" are "vitally important." Jeff Collin, a public health specialist at the University of Edinburgh, agrees, especially since "the attainment of a tobacco-free future, so critical to any global conception of health for all, remains elusive." But Collin objects to Chapman's proposal for a smart-card-based smoker's license, arguing that "effectively curbing this industrial epidemic is best achieved via actions that tackle the disease vector"—i.e., tobacco companies.
This is what passes for a debate in public health circles, where no one questions the government's duty to protect us from our own risky choices.The only argument concerns the best method of achieving "health for all." Worries about creeping totalitarianism are limited to the possibility that public perceptions of it might impede the march to a world in which no one sacrifices health or longevity for the sake of pleasure or convenience.
Indeed. The nanny state paternalists simply refuse to acknowledge that people might make choices with which they disagree.