In Association with the Libertarian International

Release Date: Tuesday 2nd January 2007
Release Time: Immediate

Contact Details:
Dr Sean Gabb (Director), 07956 472 199,

For other contact and link details, see the foot of this message
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The Libertarian Alliance, the radical free market and civil liberties policy institute, today condemns the decision by the British Government to raise the age limit for buying cigarettes from 16 to 18.

Libertarian Alliance Director, Dr Sean Gabb, says:

“We note with some amusement that in Tony Blair’s New Britain, a man may sodomise a schoolboy in a public lavatory, and the police must look the other way; but if he gives the boy a cigarette afterwards, he will soon be committing a criminal act.

“The Libertarian Alliance actually welcomes the first of these situations. We do not believe it is the right of the State to regulate the lifestyle choices of persons who are or ought to be regarded as adults. But it is on the same principle that we denounce the second situation.

“The Problem with the Blair Government’s legislation in areas of lifestyle choice is that it is driven entirely by the desire to placate special interest groups. It has abolished most of the restrictions on homosexual acts not because it shares our belief in the rights to life, liberty and property, but because it wants the support of the gay lobby. It is oppressing smokers because it wants to create still more jobs for an army of lifestyle regulators whose votes and general support it finds useful.

“The Libertarian Alliance believes in freedom with no exceptions. This includes the right to smoke. If young people are to be considered fit to make potentially disastrous choices in the area of sex, they should be considered equally fit to decide in other areas.

“The War on Smoking is a war on freedom. It is not the business of the State to tell adults what substances they can and cannot put into their own bodies. Arguments about the alleged harmfulness of these substances are beside the point. It is our right to do as we please with ourselves. To deny us this right demeans us from human beings to farm animals. A farmer will keep his cattle from harming themselves because they are his property. We are not the property of the State.”

The Libertarian Alliance believes:

* That all laws banning the promotion of tobacco products should be immediately repealed;

* That all laws banning the use of tobacco products in public should be immediately repealed;

* That, without any increase in the burden of taxes elsewhere, the excise duties on tobacco should be reduced to match the lowest level in any of the other 26 member states of the European Union

* That any organisation arguing against the above should receive no public funding.


Note(s) to Editors

The Libertarian Alliance receives no funding from the tobacco industry, but would welcome any offered.

Dr Sean Gabb is the Director of the Libertarian Alliance and edits its journal Free Life. His book, Smoking, Class and the Legitimation of Power, is available at Amazon. His other books are available from Hampden Press at

He can be contacted for further comment on 07956 472 199 or by email at

Extended Contact Details:

The Libertarian Alliance is Britain’s most radical free market and civil liberties policy institute. It has published over 700 articles, pamphlets and books in support of freedom and against statism in all its forms. These are freely available at

Our postal address is

The Libertarian Alliance
Suite 35
2 Landsdowne Row
Tel: 0870 242 1712

Associated Organisations

The Libertarian International – – is a sister organisation to the Libertarian Alliance. Its mission is to coordinate various initiatives in the defence of individual liberty throughout the world.

Sean Gabb’s personal website – – contains about a million words of writings on themes interesting to libertarians and conservatives.

Hampden Press –– the publishing house of the Libertarian Alliance.

Liberalia – – maintained by by LA Executive member Christian Michel, Liberalia publishes in-depth papers in French and English on libertarianism and free enterprise. It is a prime source of documentation on these issues for students and scholars.

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