Tag Archives: Nanny State

Don’t Nanny Me: A London Store Protests Lifestyle Regulations

Risen eyebrows, perplexed faces: some visitors at The Society Club on Cheshire Street in Shoreditch, London looked slightly confused at the sight of the city’s very first Nanny Store on April 20. For one day only, the student group Students for Liberty and the Consumer Choice Center took on themselves to ridicule the creeping interventionist nature of what is often referred to as the Nanny State: the overregulation of people’s habits.

Chocolate bars, cans of soda, crisps: all plain packaged and covered in warning labels such as “Chocolate seriously increases your risk of obesity,” the products sold at the student’s Nanny Store surely come off as patronizing. “I wouldn’t want to live in country where this would be real,” says one customer.

“It was our goal to start the Nanny State Store in London to mock the increasing level of lifestyle regulations being passed by all levels of government. Students For Liberty has done this successfully around the world, and we wanted to bring the fight to the UK,” says Alex Christakou, local coordinator with Students For Liberty

Read more at the Daily Caller

Raising The Smoking Age To 21 Is a Terrible Idea

California has raised the smoking age from 18 to 21, and jurisdictions around the country are following suit.

New York City and Chicago have already passed similar legislation, placing America’s three largest cities at the heart of a growing nationwide push for “Tobacco 21.”

This is a terrible idea. It treats 18 to 21 year olds — who are encouraged to work, vote, and fight for their country — as people incapable of making basic life choices. And it won’t even reduce youth smoking rates.

The legislation’s motive is can be found in a 2014 Surgeon General’s Report about the negative effects of tobacco on “young people” below the age of 21.

he report warns of the pressure teens face to smoke. “The tobacco epidemic”, the report states, “was initiated and has been sustained by the aggressive strategies of the tobacco industry, which has deliberately misled the public on the risks of smoking cigarettes.”

Some people may be influenced to smoke. But the negative health impacts of smoking are now so widely known — they are displayed on every pack of cigarettes — that it’s ridiculous to assume the health consequences haven’t been considered.

Some people, young and old, evidently weigh the risks and choose to smoke despite the potential health effects. For those who are addicted, there are ways to get help.

Unable to understand this choice, the surgeon general’s report, and the advocates of “Tobacco 21,” have resorted to assuming that “young people” must be incapable of resisting the “indoctrination” of the tobacco companies. They are therefore calling for legislation.

But this attitude is completely inconsistent with how 18 year olds are treated, both legally and culturally.

Eighteen year olds help decide who governs the country; they pay taxes; they routinely take on potentially crippling levels of student debt; fight our nation’s wars; and if they commit a crime they are tried and sentenced as adults.

Surely they can be trusted to choose whether or not to smoke.

For all this coddling of young adults, raising the smoking age won’t do anything to reduce smoking rates among actual adolescents.

Read the full article at The Daily Caller.

How The New E-Cig Rules Hurt Americans

The FDA’s new regulations will destroy 99 percent of an industry that offers an option the Royal College of Physicians finds is 95 percent safer than cigarettes.

It is disheartening to see that the media’s near-exclusive focus while covering the Food and Drug Administration’s recent tobacco “deeming regs” has been on the provision that restricts e-cigarette sales to minors. The New York Times published an editorial entitled “Keeping E-Cigarettes Away From the Kids,” and the Huffington Post ran an article with the headline “Finally—Commonsense Protections for Our Kids From Tobacco.”

Most people agree minors should not have access to products that contain substantial levels of nicotine (and “substantial” is used because many foods contain trace amounts of nicotine). But, in focusing on this move, commentators are missing how the FDA’s new regulations will destroy 99 percent of an industry that offers an option the Royal College of Physicians finds is 95 percent safer than cigarettes.

The FDA’s regulations will force all e-cigarette products to go through the costly and time-consuming premarket tobacco product application process, a step that all but the big tobacco companies will not be able to comply with.

Read the full article at The Federalist.

Mandating plain packaging on cigarettes doesn’t work

The Trudeau government’s plan to force tobacco companies to use plain packaging on their products is a paternalistic, nanny-state policy that will fail to reduce smoking rates.

Introduced by Julia Gillard’s Labor government in Australia, plain packaging is the public health lobby’s latest attempt to reduce smoking rates by stigmatizing tobacco products. Under such a policy, tobacco products are sold in specific, government-approved packages designed to minimize their appeal. All product branding is made illegal, with the various brands of cigarettes only distinguishable by the specific font and size of the text on the package. In Australia, the government mandated olive green packages, with health warnings prominently displayed.

The hope that this will reduce smoking rates is based on the absurd, and highly paternalistic, idea that smokers are unable to resist the lure of colourful boxes. Public-health experts assume that, given the universally accepted fact that smoking is bad for your health, smokers must be incapable of resisting the tobacco industry’s marketing.

Yet there’s no evidence to support this. In fact, a study by the European Public Health Association found “no significant association between design and marketing features of tobacco products and an early initiation of regular smoking.”

But what about evidence from Australia? In a peer-reviewed econometric study, economists Sinclair Davidson and Ashton de Silva said there was “no empirical evidence to support the notion that the plain packaging policy has resulted in lower household expenditure on tobacco than there otherwise would have been.” There was even some evidence to suggest household expenditure on tobacco had increased. This may be due to the increased sale of counterfeit tobacco, which is harder to distinguish when plain packages are used.

Indeed, the number of counterfeit tobacco seizures by Australia’s border protection agency increased by 60 per cent from mid-2011 to mid-2013 (a time frame covering the introduction of plain packaging laws). British newspaper The Sun even reported that Indonesian counterfeit tobacco smugglers were cheering when the U.K. decided to follow Australia’s lead.

Ironically, the same public health organizations advocating for plain packaging — despite the evidence it doesn’t work — are completely opposed to e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking. All evidence shows e-cigarettes are a far safer alternative to smoking, but Health Canada still warns Canadians not to purchase them.

Read the full article at the National Post.

Now the wowsers want a tax on soft drinks

Last week they were calling for an increase in the the drinking age, this week our friendly neighborhood Nanny Statists want a tax on soft drinks.

ABC News reports on a research from the Obesity Policy Coalition, the Cancer Council and Diabetes Victoria calling for a 20 per cent tax on soft drinks:

“Even a small change in consumption can have a big impact over time; a small change in body mass index and weight can have a big impact on someone’s health outcomes,” Jane Martin, from the Obesity Policy Coalition said.“This would have a bigger impact on people who are high consumers, so particularly young people, and they’re more price sensitive.“The potential to change behaviour in adolescents … who are high consumers, drink a lot of soft drink, that can be very impactful because that can take them through the rest of their life and change habits early.”

After years of discussing the dangers of sugary drinks it is no secret that they are unhealthy. And yet individuals are, for their own reasons, still choosing to consume them. The idea of taxing this choice is abhorrent.

Read the rest on FreedomWatch, here.