Is Government Ban On Tobacco Wrong?

1015 words - 4 pages

Introduction:

Government passes law to the society to prevent the risk factor that is of significant harm to their health or life. Some of those activities that cause risk are drinking and driving, use of dangerous weapons. We notice that these activities pose a risk to others who are not engaged in these activities. But there are activities that pose a danger to the participant who engage in them. For example, drinking, smoking, rock climbing. Since all states follow freedom, the state cannot pass laws that forbid consenting adults from participating in such activities just because they cause harm to them. A person engaging in an activity with full knowledge of the risks involved is morally justified. It is morally wrong to get into a person’s freedom just to prevent him from harming himself.

Argument:
1. State has no business passing laws that forbid knowledgeable and consenting adults from engaging in activities that pose risk of harm to them.
2. Smoking in private places is considered to be an activity that does not pose risk of harm to others.
3. Therefore, State cannot pass law to prevent smoking in private.

Defense of Premises of the argument:

To restrict a person’s freedom by preventing him from harming himself is morally not permissible. Law can only restrict people who cannot engage in harmful activities with full knowledge. For example, a child does not know the consequences of smoking. In that case state has the responsibility in preventing such activities, thus government has a law to prevent young age smokers. It is illegal for person under age of 18 to buy tobacco products or to get tobacco products from people above age of 18. Every person has a responsibility of their own life and their own health. This is not only their responsibility, but also their obligation. Smokers know that they are doing an activity that is a risk of harm to their own life and health. Consent is defined as to express an approval or voluntary agreement or permission for some act. For example, people who commit suicide come under this category as well. They know that they are going to die by doing such activity. So that act is done with full knowledge of the individual. Is there any way that state can stop such act? I think the answer is no. Can we go to each family member in the society to do counseling, to find out what is in their mind? In such cases there is nothing the state can do to stop such act. Thus smokers are consenting adults. They engage in smoking knowing the consequences, which is similar to suicide. Hence, there is no need to pass a law for something that happens or something that is done knowing the risk factors. But in case of people inhaling the smoke, for example, people exposed to others smoking for a long period of time. They are exposed to smoke indirectly and are affected by diseases such as lung cancer and heart diseases. State thus has the right to protect...

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