End 'nanny state' bans, argues major new study

Prohibitions impose huge costs on individuals and society, yet produce few benefits in return

A major new study, released today by the Institute of Economic Affairs*, argues that the expansion of the ‘nanny state’ should be halted. A ‘banning culture’ has seen greater restrictions placed on what individuals are permitted to do with their own bodies on private property.

The study, conducted by a distinguished international panel of experts under Dr John Meadowcroft** of King’s College London, examines the outlawing of the manufacture, distribution, sale or provision of particular goods and services by consenting adults. A wide range of issues are covered including gun control, prostitution and recreational drugs.

The research on the impact of gun control provides a good illustration - tight restrictions, such as the UK handgun bans in 1988 and 1997, have been completely ineffective at reducing both gun crime and the murder rate in general. Indeed, most countries introducing such controls have, like Britain