The idea of freedom in the policy debate on the minimum unit pricing of alcohol

Lynn Dobson, Ben Hawkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

At the heart of current debates in public health policy lie claims about curtailment of freedoms. The public regulation of lifestyle behaviours to prevent harms and promote desirable outcomes attracts charges of interference in the freedoms of individuals to choose how they live. Recent plans to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol (MUP) in the UK have met widespread opposition from alcohol producers and retailers. Their criticisms of MUP draw extensively on concepts of freedom. This paper considers whether the idea of freedom invoked by alcohol industry opponents of MUP is as straightforwardly friendly to their cause as they assume. It concludes it is not.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-54
JournalJournal of Social Philosophy
Volume47
Issue number1
Early online date25 Mar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

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