MOUTHS should be privatised.  Freedom of speech is constitutional protection for what comes out of your mouth; incremental control over what you put into it amounts to your mouth being nationalised.  You are, under South African law, free to put a gun in your mouth and pull the trigger, eat arsenic, or swallow razor blades, but not smoke dagga.  You are still allowed some psychoactive substances (sugar, coffee, chocolate, glue), but not others (ecstasy, dagga, tik).  Anti-pleasure puritans like our minister of health and his propaganda agency, the National Council Against Smoking, want tobacco added to the list of prohibitions.  Official policy is headed towards tobacco prohibition followed by draconian measures against liquor, salt, sugar, complementary health, traditional healing, fast food, baby food and whatever else upsets killjoys.  If you condone nicotine fascism, you have no principled argument against control of every aspect of life.

Read the rest of Leon Louw’s latest column Nicotine nazis hate one thing: pleasure first published by Business Day on BDlive today.