It’s nothing new. The classic distinction between liberals and socialists remains. For the former, something that is not regulated must be free; for the latter, however, something that is not regulated is automatically illegal. And here is where the public hand must intervene to heal this free space. The motivation always remains the same: the attempt to reduce the “collateral damage”, clinging to the title of public health. As it happened during the three-year pandemic.
Mind you. In numerous US condominiums (a country with liberal antibodies far superior to ours, but today challenged by the very dangerous wave of cancel culture which is investing it), in the name of public health, we have arrived at forbid smoking in your own home, because the smoke could spread towards the other apartments in the building. Or again, in New Zealand, the possibility of completely banning the sale of cigarettes has been discussed for some time now. Indeed, all those born after 2009 cannot smoke. A real welcome back to prohibition. If we talk about socialism, our country could not (obviously) be missing, when a few months ago Minister Schillaci had advanced the hypothesis of banning smoking in open spaces under certain conditions, such as in parks for example.
The Irish intervention on alcohol
The same process is happening for alcohol. A few hours ago, Ireland signed into law the regulation providing for thealcohol labelling with health warnings. This is the first case in Europe, but the proposal has also been under consideration in Brussels for some time. The law, as reported by the Ministry of Health in Dublin, imposes the affixing of a label which must report the caloric content, the grams of alcohol in the product and the warnings on the risk of consuming alcohol during pregnancy, as well as on the risk of liver disease and fatal cancers due to consumption. As if the population didn’t already know the negative consequences of those who smoke or drink every day. The law will apply after a three-year transition period, i.e. from 22 May 2026.
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The process is always the same: from discussion focused on regulation to regulation itself. Everything always happens step by step: first the possibility of limiting the sale of cigarettes is discussed, then it is prohibited in certain spaces, up to the imposition of a single ban. The same thing is likely to happen with alcohol. A simple question, addressed to both Dublin and Brussels legislators: can we do it? Can you reserve the choice to individual freedom, without the state necessarily having to intervene in every area of the individual’s life? For some time now, the question has remained unanswered, we could say unheard. And the Irish case turns out to be yet another written proof.
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