At the Becker-Posner blog,, Becker and Posner discuss "libertarian paternalism" (albeit in reverse order. Here is Judge Posner's take, and here is Becker's critique.
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I can't distinguish Posner's endorsement of the trans-fat ban from paternalism pure and simple.
The dangers of smoking are well known; indeed, they tend to be exaggerated--including by smokers. (The increased risk of lung cancer from smoking is smaller than most people believe.)
But these were based on a baseline 50% probability of death from smoking. If the true probability is 33% they probably overestimated that too.
Well, in this world there are some things that do not have many benefits, yet the costs are great. I am still racking my brain to figure out what the "benefits of smoking" are other than the nicotine high.
The most common subsitute for trans fat is good, old-fashioned saturated fat, i.e. lard. Restaurants are free to use lard, bacon grease and even butter, which has much more saturated fat than lard.
These are no better for you than trans fats.