I'm tired of the dogma that government is intrusive, self-serving, and just needs to keep out of our lives. (Not to say they're perfect by any means).
Let's point out a few areas where governments have actually saved lives and served the public welfare.
Ban on thalidomide in the 1960's. In 1957 thalidomide was first released as an over the counter sleep aid in Germany. By 1960, thalidomide was marketed in 46 countries, with sales nearly matching those of aspirin. Around this time it began being prescribed off label as an effective treatment for morning sickness in pregnant women. It wasn't long before hundreds of babies were being born with phocomelia (malformed limbs). In 1962, the FDA banned thalidomide before it was ever officially approved for use in the US (although clinical trials resulted in hundreds of babies born with birth defects). Most countries followed suit in subsequent years, but not before over 10,000 children were born with severe birth defects (half of whom died in infancy).
Mandatory seat belt laws. In 1975 it became law in the US that drivers and passengers were required to wear seat belts. The CDC has estimated that in the US alone, this regulation has saved approximately 645,000 lives since it's inception.
Lead paint ban. In 1978 the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the sale of lead paint in the US. Unfortunately, nearly all houses built prior to 1960 have lead. There is NO safe level of lead for children. According to a recent Lancet Public Health study, over 400,000 deaths per year are caused by past lead exposure in the US. Without this ban, untold millions more deaths would happen over the coming decades.
So, if governments want to slap on new anti-smoking regulations, taxes, restrictions, etc. I'm all for it. Without the public health and safety agencies protecting our food, air, drugs, and environment, I shudder to think what the unfettered corporations would be doing right now in pursuit of the almighty buck.