Smoking license

The British government has been one of the most enthusiastic and innovative advocates of nudges, and of the more general political philosophy, libertarian paternalism. One proposal currently on the table in the U.K. is a smoking license. The license would cost just 10 pounds – about the same as two packs of cigarettes, depending on the brand – but would require a form “made deliberately complex to deter people from applying,” according to the article. One of the rules of a well-designed nudge is that it should be inexpensive to avoid. Is 10 pounds and a complex form cheap enough for smokers?

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7 Responses to “Smoking license”

  1. J Laurenzi Says:

    This has to be an April Fool’s joke. If not, this will be the start when a SIG believes that something is harmful…ie, cupcakes…then there will have to be a license to participate. Ridiculous.

  2. nathan Says:

    There is nothing “libertarian” about being forced to ask a State permission to smoke.

  3. Stop Smoking Man Says:

    I can’t believe this. Like the 1st comment to this blog post, it must be an April’s Fool’s joke.

    Nudgeblog, can you elaborate more on this?

  4. Dan Says:

    Are they serious. You cant just have a license for smoking, are you going to have to pass a test, this is a joke.

  5. Derren Says:

    I’m all for people giving up smoking, but this does not sound right to me. Does this mean people in U.K. would get fined for smoking without a license?

  6. Herbal Says:

    I can’t believe this. And what’s next, a licence for ‘passive smoking’? How much will that cost?

  7. Republic Monetary Exchange Says:

    I concur. A license for smoking is ludicrous. Of course smoking is a huge business and if it was possible to do away with it, it would also do away with the income it provides to the millions of people who benefit from the harm it causes.

    After 6 months of struggling with cancer due to cigarettes, my friend’s mother just passed away. Her bad habit of smoking just generated over $120,000 in revenue for the hospital and doctors that tried to make here as comfortable as they could before she passed away.

    Don’t worry, if the threat of sickness and death does not dissuade one from smoking, certainly requiring a license for one to smoke will not be overly discouraging.


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