Smoking license

The British government has been one of the most enthusiastic and innovative advocates of nudges, and of the more general political philosophy, libertarian paternalism. One proposal currently on the table in the U.K. is a smoking license. The license would cost just 10 pounds – about the same as two packs of cigarettes, depending on the brand – but would require a form “made deliberately complex to deter people from applying,” according to the article. One of the rules of a well-designed nudge is that it should be inexpensive to avoid. Is 10 pounds and a complex form cheap enough for smokers?

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  • J Laurenzi

    This has to be an April Fool’s joke. If not, this will be the start when a SIG believes that something is harmful…ie, cupcakes…then there will have to be a license to participate. Ridiculous.

  • nathan

    There is nothing “libertarian” about being forced to ask a State permission to smoke.

  • Stop Smoking Man

    I can’t believe this. Like the 1st comment to this blog post, it must be an April’s Fool’s joke.

    Nudgeblog, can you elaborate more on this?

  • Dan

    Are they serious. You cant just have a license for smoking, are you going to have to pass a test, this is a joke.

  • Derren

    I’m all for people giving up smoking, but this does not sound right to me. Does this mean people in U.K. would get fined for smoking without a license?

  • Herbal

    I can’t believe this. And what’s next, a licence for ‘passive smoking’? How much will that cost?