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Monday, March 05, 2012


i don't smoke. i am glad of that. i tried to smoke, i was barely in my teens, parents were at work and so i thought i would spark up. i drew the curtains in the front room. i picked up one of mum's (or it could have been dad's) fags. they were probably a pack of senior service. i had it in my mouth - thinking i looked as cool as fuck. i had the lighter in my hand. i clicked the switch. flame on. no matter how i tried i couldn't get that fag to light. no amount of huffing or puffing worked. the fag stayed unlit. i never smoked. i suppose the other thing that prevented me from ever really trying to smoke was that both my parents were heavy smokers and i wanted to be different from them. (oh and maybe all the health warnings that started to crop up while i was in my teens). jump forward to today. story on the bbc about how there is pressure on george osborne to increase the cost of cigarettes. there are several benefits to a price increase. firstly there is more money to the treasury and in these days of austerity that is a good thing. secondly it is thought that by hiking up the price people will wean themselves off cigarettes, the only problem is they are addictive and if it were that easy everyone would be doing it. of course the increase in the price of cigarettes hits the poorest hardest and is the main reason why there won't be quite the uproar as there has been for a minimum unit price on alcohol. but i have an even better solution to the problem of getting people to cut down on smoking. it still involves them buying cigarettes, but it is a practice that is frowned upon by the powers that be and gets those who sell cigarettes in this way into a lot of bother. but to me it seems the perfect solution. let retailers sell singles - at the moment they can't, they can only sell packs. person buys a pack it is quite likely they are going to smoke them all and in a short space of time. they buy a couple of singles then they have to make another trip to the retailer to get their hit. result fewer fags smoked. i have solved the problem. thank me later.

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