Happy No Smoking Day!

Nsd Against the backdrop of revolution in Libya and the imposition of a United Nations "no fly" zone in the region, it may have escaped your attention that it is National No Smoking Day.

Unsurprisingly, the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has found his own special way of marking this occasion…

Not content with increasing taxes on tobacco to sky-high levels, it appears the Health Secretary now wants to go one step further and impose plain packaging on tobacco products.  Under the proposed regulations, packets would no longer be able to display the logos of their manufacturers and would not be able to include any other graphics or colours of their choice.  The packaging would be standardised in terms of size, rendering one pack of cigarettes indistinguishable from another.

This would be just the latest move by the government to demonise smokers, a group of people who voluntarily choose to consume a perfectly legal product. 

The government likes to talk about "freedom" – how about respecting the rights of smokers?  Under Andrew Lansley, it appears the nanny state is alive and well.

Posted by on Mar 9, 2011 in Home | 11 Comments


  1. John
    9th March 2011

    As somebody who has never used illegal drugs, I might be wrong but I’m fairly sure they’re not provided in colourful packs replete with logos and health warnings.
    Doesn’t seem to deter anybody though does it?
    Politicians might more usefully spend their time repealing laws and regulations for a change.

  2. Slacker
    9th March 2011

    I don’t see how this ‘demonises’ anyone. People will still be able to buy tabs and smoke their heads off if they so wish. It’s a measure designed to stop young people taking up such a dangerous, smelly habit and as such I applaud it. Let’s be honest, most of you addicts would pack it in if you had the willpower.

  3. startledcod
    9th March 2011

    Slacker, you just don’t get it do you. Explain exactly how removing branding from cigarettes is going to stop young people smoking? The more the government does to dress fags up as evil and dangerous the more attractive they become to those tempted to try them. Simples.
    Why not remove branding from alcohol as well that does considerable damage. Yes, pretty ridiculous idea isn’t it, not able to distinguish between Chateau Petrus and Lambrusco. And before you splutter into your coffee there is complete moral equivalence; both are legal, both are addictive, both are harmful etc.
    As Douglas Carswell has pointed out brands are a significant business asset that is being confiscated by the Government, welcome to Zimbabwe.

  4. Dick Puddlecote
    9th March 2011

    What it’s designed to do and what it actually will do are two different things, Slacker. There is no evidence from anywhere in the world that it will work, and only a fool can’t see that it makes counterfeiting a lot easier, and the kind of person who sells such ‘cigarettes’ doesn’t care much who buys them. This has unintended consequences written all over it with no proof that it will actually work as intended.

  5. startledcod
    9th March 2011

    Very good point Dick Puddlecote, I had completely forgotten to run it up against the ‘unintended consequences’ ruler. You are right, there are going to be loads, not least the playground sale of very cheap fags which may well contain very harmful additives. Its just another semi-legal branch of business for the guys who sell the really bad stuff. Heaven forfend, dodgy fags an entry drug!
    I genuinely think that 99.95% of politicians are not malign and do enact laws for the best of motives. However they are very, very silly and their unintended consequences have made life worse in so many ways.

  6. guy herbert
    9th March 2011

    The legitimacy of the ban doesn’t depend on whether it is effective or not in stopping people smoking. What the hell business of government is it to prevent people from smoking?
    Andrew Lansley has no more business nudging smokers to stop and putting tobacconists out of business, than he would trying to force non-smokers like me to take it up and subsidising the industry.

  7. John Galt
    9th March 2011

    On the other hand, this is going to make it more lucrative for cigarette and tobacco smugglers as they spend a lot of money attempting to reproduce the packaging. If they are all in plain white wrappers with a big skull and cross-bones on them, then that will make it cheaper to produce for the smugglers.
    Sounds like a bit of an own goal.
    By the way, does anyone remember Death Cigarettes? Now there was a brand name to die for…
    I’ll have 20 Death please…

  8. nisakiman
    9th March 2011

    The cynic in me wonders if the zealots at ASH know exactly what they’re doing. They know that it won’t have any effect other than to put retailers out of business and to exacerbate the counterfeit / contraband business. A year or so down the road, they will be whispering in the government’s ear that the dire consequences of this legislation (which they will ignore that they have caused) can only be addressed by complete prohibition.

  9. JKA
    10th March 2011

    Plain paper packets, bring it on. Anyone who has to put up with pictures of poor old cancerous throat chap will be delighted. Please make sure that they are completely plain and remove all the anti-smoking messages too.
    I see the market in funky cigarette cases sky-rocketing.
    Next steps – government legislate that all smokers whould wear bells around their neck or sandwich boards stating “I am unclean”

  10. Roy Grant
    10th March 2011

    It s up to the Tobacco company’s to supply Tins & sleeves to put your rolling & ready made’s in. With all the advertising they want

  11. true religion outlet
    15th April 2011

    Here’s a reason to root for Butler (and have your bike checked by a mechanic) “[Butler’s Matt] Howard is famous for riding his bicycle around Butler’s Indianapolis campus, no matter the temperature or weather conditions….’The bike crash? Who told you about that,’ he said with a laugh Thursday afternoon.