Thursday 14 December 2017

Making the healthy choice an easier one will not turn Ireland into a Nanny State

'Ireland has a chronic disease crisis that is being driven by our smoking, drinking and eating habits, as well as a lack of physical activity' Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
'Ireland has a chronic disease crisis that is being driven by our smoking, drinking and eating habits, as well as a lack of physical activity' Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Conor Cullen

People looking at the recently published Nanny State Index would do well to ask who really has their best interests at heart before accepting that Ireland is one of 'the worst places in the European Union to eat, drink, smoke and vape'.

This index has been compiled by free-market lobby groups, the Institute of Economic Affairs and the European Policy Information Centre. If it is to be taken seriously, one first has to accept that all regulations governing food, alcohol and smoking are inherently bad regulations. The index does not address why these regulations were introduced or what benefit they bring to individuals, families and wider society.

Ireland is penalised by the index for the introduction of life-saving measures, such as the smoking ban and our drink driving legislation. It tells us we should be ashamed of regulations such as protecting children from exposure to tobacco and junk food advertising.

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