Christopher Snowdon, IEA Director of Lifestyle Economics discussed the role of public health versus that of individual freedom on BBC Radio Four's Moral Maze last night. He argued that smoking, drinking eating are private issues and thus not issues that should be controlled by 'sin' taxes or legislation, artificially imposing preferences of individuals. Furthermore he argued that public health should be about mitigating the risk of infectious diseases and that the Public Health Lobby have been guilty of extending their remit into micro-managing peoples lives.
He argued that becuase the poor are now three times more likely to smoke than their counterparts, compared to parity 60 years ago, years of taxation on 'public health' grounds has led to them suffering more.
You can listen to the full programme here. Christopher's segment starts at 10.56.