Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A smoker's license: Too radical for tobacco control?

Date:
November 13, 2012
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
In an innovative move to help reduce the damaging health effects of tobacco, the radical proposal of introducing a ''smoker's license'' is debated by two experts in this week's PLOS Medicine.

In an innovative move to help reduce the damaging health effects of tobacco, the radical proposal of introducing a ''smoker's license'' is debated by two experts in this week's PLoS Medicine.

Simon Chapman from the University of Sydney in Australia and Jeff Collin from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland both agree that creative thinking is required to tackle the global smoking epidemic (especially as tobacco continues to kill millions of people around the world each year and its use is increasing in some countries) but disagree on the need for a smoker's licence.

Chapman makes the case for introducing a smart card license for smokers, which would be designed to limit access to tobacco products and also to encourage smokers to quit. He argues that as tobacco sale is subject to trivial controls compared with other dangerous products that threaten both public and personal safety, a different approach is necessary -- a smoker's (tobacco user's) licence .

Chapman explains how such a licence would work: "All smokers would be required to obtain a smart swipecard license to transact any purchase from a licensed tobacco retailer. Retailers could not sell to anyone without a card."

Key elements of the proposed smoker's license include an annual cost for the license (depending on the number of cigarettes smoked), which would be reissued every year, smokers setting daily limits for the number of cigarettes they buy, and a test of knowledge of health risks for people wanting to buy a licence.

Champan argues: "Opponents of the idea would be quick to suggest that Orwellian social engineers would soon be calling for licenses to drink alcohol and to eat junk food or engage in any ''risky'' activity. This argument rests on poor public understanding of the magnitude of the risks of smoking relative to other cumulative everyday risks to health. "

Collin is one such opponent and argues against the proposed smoker's licence: "The authoritarian connotations of the smoker's license would inevitably meet with broad opposition. In the United Kingdom, for example, successive governments have failed to introduce identity cards. If it's very difficult to envisage health advocates securing support for a comparable scheme on the basis of a public health rationale, it is still harder to see why they should wish to."

A smoking licence would also increase stigmatization of smokers argues Collins and also shift focus away from the tobacco industry, the real cause of the global smoking epidemic.

Collins concludes: "fundamental challenge confronting any endgame strategy is that the move towards a tobacco-free society should address the social determinants of health and promote equity and social justice. The proposal for a smoker's license should be rejected as failing this challenge."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Simon Chapman. The Case for a Smoker's License. PLoS Medicine, 2012; 9 (11): e1001342 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001342

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "A smoker's license: Too radical for tobacco control?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121113174912.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2012, November 13). A smoker's license: Too radical for tobacco control?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121113174912.htm
Public Library of Science. "A smoker's license: Too radical for tobacco control?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121113174912.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins