ARGUS COMMENT: The right advice or the nanny state?

THERE are likely to be strong opinions voiced in favour and against some of the proposals contained in the Welsh Government's new White Paper on public health.

Launched today by health minister Mark Drakeford, the plans include the introduction of a minimum price per unit for alcohol and - perhaps most controversially - restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes in public places.

The former measure is in the process of being introduced in Scotland. The latter would be a UK-first.

A minimum alcohol price is seen by some as the best way to tackle growing levels of binge drinking and alcohol abuse. It would mean an end to cheap deals in pubs, clubs and supermarkets.

Yet it would be a move that would rub against Chancellor George Osborne's recent budgets, when alcohol duty has been cut, and certainly punishes the vast majority of responsible drinkers.

The e-cigarettes proposal will also have its opponents.

The arguments in favour of restrictions on their use in public - seven years after the smoking ban was introduced in Wales - are that the devices normalise smoking and undermine the ban.

But many people will see the move as a further restriction on their personal liberties and an example of the nanny state running wild.

The consultation process on these proposals is likely to be passionate and prolonged.

What do you think of the proposals? Contact us in the usual ways and let us know.

Comments (1)

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8:05am Thu 3 Apr 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

With regard to putting up the price of booze and tobacco at a time when the vast majority of ordinary people are stressed out and discontented because of austerity measures the powers-that-be might be shooting themselves in the foot here. Being priced out of those 'distractions' will mean that us ordinary 'plebs' may have to look at alternative ways to relieve our stress - such as getting involved in politics - and those who govern us could find themselves faced with a much more politicized and consequently demanding electorate.
With regard to putting up the price of booze and tobacco at a time when the vast majority of ordinary people are stressed out and discontented because of austerity measures the powers-that-be might be shooting themselves in the foot here. Being priced out of those 'distractions' will mean that us ordinary 'plebs' may have to look at alternative ways to relieve our stress - such as getting involved in politics - and those who govern us could find themselves faced with a much more politicized and consequently demanding electorate. Katie Re-Registered
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