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Balancing Public Health Against Individual Liberty: The Ethics of Smoking Regulations

80 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 1999 Last revised: 6 Nov 2013

Thaddeus Mason Pope

Mitchell Hamline School of Law; Queensland University of Technology - Australian Health Law Research Center; Saint Georges University; Alden March Bioethics Institute

Abstract

Ten years ago, philosopher Robert E. Goodin published "No Smoking: The Ethical Issues." Goodin argued that the liberty of smokers can be justifiably limited for two reasons: to prevent harm to third persons and to prevent harm to smokers themselves under circumstances which make their decision to smoke substantially non-autonomous. In this article Thaddeus Pope reexamines the harm principle and the soft paternalism principle in light of more recent legal developments, gives them additional content, and carefully demarcates the justificatory scope of each. Pope also defines and defends a third liberty-limiting principle, hard paternalism, arguing that the liberty of smokers might be justifiably limited even when their decision to smoke is substantially autonomous.

Suggested Citation

Pope, Thaddeus Mason, Balancing Public Health Against Individual Liberty: The Ethics of Smoking Regulations. University of Pittsburgh Law Review, Vol. 61, No. 2, February 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=174750

Thaddeus Mason Pope (Contact Author)

Mitchell Hamline School of Law ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.thaddeuspope.com

Queensland University of Technology - Australian Health Law Research Center ( email )

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Saint Georges University ( email )

West Indies
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HOME PAGE: http://www.thaddeuspope.com

Alden March Bioethics Institute ( email )

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MC 153
Albany, NY 12208
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.thaddeuspope.com

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