The Economist pans the plan to ban smoking

The Economist writes:

However, the new policies are misguided. Start with cutting the amount of nicotine in cigarettes: the idea is that it will wean smokers off the most addictive substance in the cancer sticks.

Yet as any smoker -or European vape user who has sampled the satisfyingly high-nicotine liquids available outside the EU – can attest, lower nicotine levels only make them want to puff more. Nicotine may be the most addictive bit of a smoke, but it is not the most harmful. The main causes of disease are the tar, the toxic chemicals and the inhalation of smoke from a fire two inches away from your nose.

More unwise still is the plan to enforce prohibition for the next generation of potential smokers. Banning popular substances has unintended consequences, as alcohol prohibition once showed in America, and the war on drugs shows nearly everywhere today. The market moves underground. Criminals take over.

Supplies are no longer regulated, so quality suffers: all manner of harmful extras may be added. Worse, criminal gangs make so much money from prohibition that they corrupt governments and fight bloody battles with each other over turf.

The proposed ban will be a bonanza for gangs, who will make huge profits from the black market.

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