Despite rising education levels, the harms caused to the rest of society, and social stigmatisation, the consumption of vices remains a challenge for regulators and policymakers around the world. In emerging Asia, the rapid growth of the middle class with greater purchasing power creates new policy problems and dilemmas. Whether it is gambling, tobacco, alcohol, and commercial sex, public officials in the public health, security, social, and fiscal agencies face an increasingly complex and contentious set of issues. The issue is made more challenging by the fact that social mores and conventions may prevent governments from pursuing sensible and realistic controls. Vices also tend to provoke strong emotional reactions, again limiting the ability of governments to adopt policies based on technocratic, cost-benefit calculations.
Clearly, robust vice policies have to be drawn from a variety of disciplines: the history of vice controls, economics, psychology, and sociology. This three-day programme aims to help you develop realistic and pragmatic approaches to the regulation of vices, and develop your ability to assess policy options for managing and controlling the common vices of gambling, tobacco, alcohol and commercial sex. Among the options considered are prohibition, taxation, licensing, and limits on marketing. You will also participate in group discussions and learning journeys to gain practical insights into the regulation of vices in Singapore.