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Philosophical and Paternalistic Foundations of Smoking Ban in Private Cars in Turkey
According to the data of the World Health Organization, smoking as a preventable health problem can cost the lives of 1 billion people in the 21st century. Not only do governments and social institutions strive to reduce smoking, but also they try to protect both smokers and non-smokers through restrictions and prohibitions. In Turkey, annually, one hundred thousand people die from a smoking-induced disease. To protect public health, the state takes many measures varying from prohibiting smoking in public places, to stimulating images on cigarette packs, and public spots that are published in the media. The most discussed among these measures is the smoking ban imposed on drivers and passengers in private cars. The starting point of the discussion is generally the narrowing of the individual freedom field by ignoring the autonomy and will of the individual. In this context, this study discusses whether it is possible to rationalize this restriction ethically and philosophically, by paying attention to the “harm principle”, “soft paternalism” and “hard paternalism”. It will be revealed that the bans must always intend to “have the least restriction” as a meta-aim, and freedoms must depend on the “risk factor” assessment to gain a reasonable and rational basis.

Paternalism, harm principle, individual freedom, education, smoking bans.

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