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You Got a License For That...Fag?

Health England, a government health advisory body in the UK, is pushing for the introduction of a "smoker's license," which would require those wanting to buy tobacco products to pay £10 for a permit to do so. The chairman of Health England, Julian Le Grand, has said the plan would "make a big difference to the number of people giving up smoking."

Since when is it the government's responsibility to try and get people to quit smoking? Since the introduction of government health care. So while tobacco taxation is at record levels, smokers are essentially being taxed yet again.

The chairman continued:

"You've got to get a form, a complex form - the government's good at complex forms; you have got to get a photograph. 70% of smokers actually want to stop smoking. So if you just make it that little bit more difficult for them to actually re-start or even to start in the first place, yes I think it will make a big difference."

Smoker's rights advocate Simon Clark warned that the government advisor pushing the plan forward is "not only adding to the red tape and bureaucracy we already have in this country...he is openly bragging that he wants to make the form as complex as possible to fill in."

He added, "We are becoming not just a nanny state but a bully state."

Now come on. Everyone knows smoking is bad for you, so why not make it illegal altogether? If we don't want people smoking, isn't it as simple as outlawing tobacco? Where does this stop? Alcohol kills more people annually and is responsible for more crime than almost all illegal drugs combined. Should we require a permit to drink beer, wine, or liquor?

When was the last time you heard of someone abusing their children because they smoked too many cigarettes? What about a license to eat junk food? Maybe Britons can offset eating all those crisps by purchasing "Carb-Credits." Al Gore, are you reading this?

When the government is in the business of health, your health becomes the government's business. And that includes control over what you eat, drink, smoke, swallow, snort, or inject. Personal liberty means the freedom to choose what you do with your body, and to make your own decisions, good or bad. After all, you're the one paying to take care of yourself, right?

Oh that's right, you aren't -- it's free! Too bad you can no longer say the same about yourself.


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