Saturday, June 13, 2009

Baffled by tobacco

A thought struck me today as I was walking down St-Denis street, seeing all those smokers huddled on terrasses. How did governments across the world manage (politically) to revoke such an in-your-face right from a very high percentage of the population? Normally such a move is political suicide.

Perhaps many decades of negative publicity got the best out of smokers.

I also find it odd that smokers have not successfully contested taxation of tobacco, since smoking has a positive externality on the bulk of society (people dying quickly after retirement consume less state sponsored resources). Even adopting a paternalistic point-of-view, all taxation of tobacco should be given back to smokers in one form or another, not redistributed equally to everyone.