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The Right balance on Tobacco Policy

Some of you in earlier posts have referred to e-cigarettes as an option to address the use of tobacco issue. Attached are a couple of articles on vaping. While this is by no means the complete research on this subject, how would you as a government official approach the e-cigarette issue?

 

Many of you have expresses support for additional rules and regulations to be applied toward tobacco. As Deborah Stone points out “political conflict revolves around ideas” so does much of this debate revolve around conflicts between concepts of “liberty and welfare”? Is the state is going too far in trying to control behavior? At what point do you become the “nanny state”?

Secondly is there consistency in regulating hazardous behavior / exposure? We regulate many food products but not the intake so we have a significant increase in obesity which also contributes to more death and health problems. We know there will be less significant automobile accidents if we reduce speed limits but at some point people will stop conforming to the law if the limit is too low? At what point do you begin to achieve diminished returns on your policy? For example think about America’s experience with prohibition of alcohol. From 1920 when the 18th Amendment was enacted and 1933 when the 21st Amendment was passed repealing it the unintended consequences was the rise of organized crime, bootleg liquor and other underground distribution networks which led to greater contempt for government as a whole.

Once again think through what is too far and what is the right balance on tobacco policy?

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Category: Sample Questions