In the last two decades it has become increasingly common to ad-vocate for a complete ban on the sale of cigarettes. One reason in favor of such a ban is egalitarian: differences in the prevalence of smoking between socioeconomic groups go a long way in explaining health inequality, and a complete ban might be effective in reducing this inequality. However, a complete ban might also be objectionable on egalitarian grounds if issued with a discriminatory intent or if it is selectively paternalistic. This article argues that a complete ban is likely to be guilty of both, especially when one of its aims is to reduce unequal rates of smoking between groups. A complete ban on the sale of cigarettes thus exhibits a curious feature: in aiming to reduce inequality it threatens to be inegalitarian. This is characteristic of a wider class of public health policies that deserves further attention by egalitarians.
|Number of pages||23|
|Journal||Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal|
|State||Published - Mar 2023|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2022 by Johns Hopkins University Press.
- discriminatory intent
- egalitarian constraints
- health inequality
- pa-ternalistically egalitarian policies
- selective paternalism