What’s the latest idea to get smokers to quit - and discourage people from starting in the first place? Requiring smokers to have a license to smoke!

The unusual suggestion was made by professor of public health, Dr. Simon Chapman. He points out that more than half of all long-time smokers die from the effects of tobacco. And he thinks there needs to be more restrictions placed on the sale of cigarettes.

So, his idea is for smokers to be required to apply for – and pay for - a mandatory license to smoke, that would have to be renewed every year. It would be a smartcard that would be scanned at the register whenever someone buys cigarettes. You’d have to be 18 to get one – which would instantly reduce the numbers of underage smokers.

He also says the smartcard would limit how many cigarettes you could buy. Say, for a heavy smoker, a maximum of 75 packs a month – which works out to 2-and-a-half packs a day. And an occasional smoker would be allowed to buy fewer cigarettes.

Also, when you scan your card, it would share healthcare warnings about smoking, and offer quit-smoking tips. And the license fees could go toward tobacco education, and anti-smoking initiatives.

But critics dislike at the idea and believe that requiring a smoking license would lead to other regulations - say, requiring licenses for eating junk food, going bungee jumping, and other “risky behaviors.”

What do you think? Would requiring a license to smoke be a good thing? Or just another way for the government to control our choices?