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Drink, smoke, eat: prohibition today


Drink, smoke, eat: prohibition today

Are we entering a new prohibitionist era? Drinking and even smoking are still perfectly legal, but there is a sense that they are less acceptable than they once were. Cigarettes have become more expensive thanks to punitive taxes, and the authorities would like to do something similar with alcohol. The government drive to de-normalise smoking and drinking is aided and abetted by health professionals, but is it any business of the government to seek to change and mould our behaviour? Speakers in this compelling Battle of Ideas debate include Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and author of Women’s Health for Life; Rob Lyons, deputy editor, Spiked and author of Panic on a Plate: how society developed an eating disorder; Dr Michael Nelson, director of research and nutrition, Children’s Food Trust; Chris Snowdon, author of Velvet Glove, Iron Fist and The Art of Suppression: pleasure, panic and prohibition since 1800; and Christine Thompson, UK government relations, SAB Miller.

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Related topics: Civil Liberties, Debates

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Chioma said:

I agree great debate! it’s daunting that it just feels no matter what we turn to, drugs, smoking alcohol and food there seems to always be a risk factor. It’s great to eat but calm down you’ll be fat, drink too much and you’ll have liver problems, it’s becoming a risk to touch anything these days, that’s why problems like eating disorders are on a rise. I think instead informing society all the time in making better choices, there should equally be better access to alternative and healthier products (and a lot cheaper) so there we wouldn’t have to go out of our way to make better choices.

Randolph Ferry said:

The most galling aspect of this tyranny of health professional is that they don’t seem to realise that they are recommending stuff that, in the wrong hands, takes away our liberties as grown up citizens to make our own choices about our consumption habits. I know smoking is bad for you healthwise but the liberty to choose whether or not to indulge is more important.

Francis K said:

Blimey good debate, the medics really think it is their business to tell us how to live now and save the NHS money, I find that scary. Chris Snowden is very impressive.