What most interested me about these articles, however, was their uncritical acceptance of what might by now be called the official medical lie about addiction: namely that it is an involuntary condition beyond the powers of the individual to control. The authors of the first article say:

The broader claim that it is fair to exclude smokers because they are responsible for raising health care costs is too simplistic. It ignores the fact that smoking is addictive and therefore not completely voluntary. As many as 69% of smokers want to quit, but the addictive properties of tobacco make that exceedingly difficult: only 3 to 5% of unaided cessation attempts succeed. It is therefore wrong to treat smoking as something fully under an individual’s control.

The authors of the second article ask:

Is it fair to penalize smokers even though the highly addictive nature of nicotine makes their behavior less than entirely voluntary?

To this they reply:

In many surveys, about 70% of smokers say they want to quit, but only 2 to 3% succeed each year. One reason for this huge gap is that smoking cessation has immediate costs in the form of nicotine withdrawal…