A radical proposal of introducing a licence to reduce the harmful health effects of tobacco has been debated by two experts.
Writing in the journal PLoS Medicine, the experts consider the benefits and negative points of introducing a licence, which would mean smokers had to obtain a licence to buy cigarettes. This would include an annual cost for the licence, the ability for smokers to set daily limits on usage and a test to ensure smokers understand the health risks of smoking.
Simon Chapman from the University of Sydney in Australia, argues for the introduction of the licence, stating that: “All smokers would be required to obtain a smart swipecard license to transact any purchase from a licensed tobacco retailer. Retailers could not sell to anyone without a card.”
Jeff Collin from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland argues against the proposal and stats that it would shift focus away from the tobacco industry; the real cause of the global smoking epidemic.