Public policy, advertising and markets

John Luik

THE CONTEXT

It is important first to place the issue of tobacco advertising bans in the appropriate public policy context. Far too often the question of tobacco advertising and tobacco advertising bans is raised and examined in the context of emotional rhetoric rather than careful and rigorous analysis. This analysis would argue, however, that there is nothing about this debate that allows its participants to dispense with the criteria of legitimate public policy which is employed in any other policy arena. The justification of these standards is beyond the scope of this paper. However, we would suggest that they are generally non controversial. What they suggest is that public policy in a democratic society is legitimate only in so far as it:

  1. Is based on objective, substantial and careful evidence.