He is the director of Counterfactual Consulting, a Britain-based public interest consultancy and advocacy practice. As an example, he questions the sales ban to those under 18: This, he feels, is a political rather than a public health benefit decision because studies show that smoking has declined at a slower rate in states that ban e-cig sales to those under 18.
That, he says, is an example of an unintended consequence of a well-meaning policy. Stressing that regulations must benefit consumers, he insists that the main objective of any government must be to reduce disease and promote informed choices.
Regulators must be rigorous about unintended consequences of policy interventions, he warns. “So before you intervene, make sure you’re not making things worse.”