Wednesday 18 October 2017

Big Tobacco's black market theory goes up in smoke

Chris Macey

It's hard to fathom how an organisation that casts itself in the role of defender of personal freedom can share so much common ground with the tobacco industry.

Tobacco is quite possibly the greatest usurper of individual freedom in the history of the planet. Not only is it among the most addictive substances known to man, it kills half its regular users. What more conclusive denial of freedom is there than your premature death?

Yet the right-wing UK think-tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), and its director, Christopher Snowdon, are at one with the industry in their opposition to tobacco control measures – such as high tax and tough regulation – that have been crucial to reducing the number of smokers in Ireland by around 200,000 over the last six years.

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