Banning people from smoking is terribly paternalistic

The N-VA and CD&V want to further discourage smoking, and ban the sale of tobacco by 2028. The counterargument that this limits freedom, health promoters ignore the cynicism that addiction is a lack of freedom.

Everyone knows that nicotine is addictive, yet people still choose to smoke despite the potential long-term consequences. So this is really freedom. People have been smoking since the invention of fire. It gives them fun and relaxes their minds.

People also eat french fries with mayonnaise, snacks, and drink alcohol. They sunbathe, wear high heels, go to bed too late… all the things that sometimes make life more fun, and that are often not good for our health. Will we put health first and ban everything that can harm it? Such a policy directly affects our private lives and is terribly paternalistic.

Politicians are reluctant to make vaccination against Covid-19 mandatory. However, not being vaccinated is also very dangerous, meaning that restrictions on freedom will remain in place for a longer period, with all the consequences for our economy, social life and our mental health. This sounds a lot worse to me than letting someone enjoy a cigarette.

The legislation is already so strict that non-smokers cannot inadvertently be exposed to smokers’ smoke. This seems enough to me. On the other hand, ban is morally irresponsible for me. Government should not control individual behavior that does not harm others.

Future generations must already bear the consequences of the short-sighted policies that are destroying our planet. The policy makers themselves will now forbid them to smoke a cigarette with it: how hypocritical is that?

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Peter Verduct, Leuven.

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Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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