The Health of the Nation

smoking banA couple of news stories caught my attention recently. The NHS has started a programme for its staff to look after their well being, recognising that the emphasis had focused too much on the patient and not enough on their staff.

The other story on the radio this morning concerned an organisation that prohibits its staff from smoking, either cigarettes or electronic cigarettes, in the workplace and outside.

In the first story I applauded the initiative, and welcome a more enlightened view by management. The second story is more problematic. Smoking in the workplace is illegal, but extending that ban to smoking outside working hours (during the lunch break etc.) smacks of dictatorship. The freedom to do yourself harm is a tricky one, but if I choose to eat too many cakes or over exercise would anyone be in favour of restricting my choice?

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