Here’s an excellent article from Rob Lyons on how plain packaging for tobacco products needs to be resisted. He is spot-on on the reasons why normal people should reject prohibitionism:
It may come as a shock to those who want to micromanage our lifestyles, but drinkers, smokers and lovers of fast food are not stupid. We’ve got the message that fags, booze and all the other wicked little pleasures are bad for us. The real reason that people engage in moderately unhealthy behaviours like these – so mildly unhealthy that we have to do them often and regularly over the course of decades to cause us serious harm – is that we enjoy them. We balance the long-term risks against short-term pleasure. That’s a far more sophisticated understanding of what it means to live life well than these grey and miserable latter-day Puritans could ever manage.There is far more to life than just minimising every perceived risk. And the Puritans are surprisingly quiet when it comes to sport, most forms of which involve entirely avoidable risks to life and limb.
And plain packaging, and display bans, will never be applied to alcoholic drinks, of course. Or will they?