Thanks to all our readers who voted in last week’s PLOS Medicine poll asking whether you thought a smoker’s license was a good idea. At the time of writing, we have received 372 votes, 71% of which said NO.
The poll sprang from last week’s PLOS Medicine Debate, where Simon Chapman and Jeff Collin presented opposing arguments for a “smart card” style smoker’s license designed to limit access to tobacco and encourage cessation.
As Professor Chapman has pointed out, many other now widely accepted proposals – like tobacco advertising bans and smoke-free pubs and restaurants – were once ridiculed.
And if the page views are any indication (5564 readers accessed his smoker’s license proposal in its first 5 days of publication), the idea has struck a chord.
Comments on the poll post and tweets about the two articles (which you can see in real time on the article pages) suggest that those in favour thought it was a creative, provocative, and potentially useful tool for tobacco control, while those opposed felt the license would be impractical and reeked of a patronizing “nanny state.”
Professor Chapman wrote on his twitter feed that this is probably “the most important piece I have ever published.”