Should cigarettes be non brand or viscerally offensive?

A rare excursion into serious territory for this blog. Not that anyone cares as I have no readers anyway…..

So cigarettes should be non branded or have disgusting pictures on the packets?

I’m sorry for the mangled metaphor, but this is the thin end of a particularly nasty wedge, and that wedge has some fairly hefty names; state control, prohibition, totalitarian etc.

If the government doesn’t want us to smoke, then ban fags in the same way that other drugs are banned – all of which I agree with btw. I’ve never worked for a tobacco firm, so there’s no personal axe to grind. I’m not even a smoker anymore as I gave up over 3 years ago as Kirsty didn’t like the taste.

However I am at heart something of a libertarian and as anyone reading this will either know or have worked out, something of a boozer; an industry treated very differently compared to tobacco, even though it also kills a lot of Brits.

This POV is therefore driven my serious hatred of hypocrisy. Evil I can handle (if you know my professional history, you’ll understand this) but I can’t stand jumping on the bandwagon of moral purity. why does the UK alcohol industry (real ale and whisk([e]y) get to be presented as “traditional” and other positive adjectives, whereas the tobacco industry makes “cancer sticks”?

Then there’s the arms industry. BAE and its peers make kit that will leave its victims screaming to death in their own excrement. Cattle prods to cluster bombs, the arms industry makes things designed to send people to their maker. At least tobacco gives its users an enjoyable few mins per fag. Unlike a steal jacketed NATO 5.56mm round.

Basically this all feels suspiciously what is known as “pr BS” by non PR people. Smokers are hated by non smokers in a way that I don’t think is really repeated in any other way, apart from racism, sexism and homophobia. Even junkies have a level of sympathy. Drunks are “eccentric”. Smokers are “filthy”.

OK, I still miss the crackle of a Marlboro light in a quiet room at 2 in the morning. But that longing doesn’t make me think that smokers or tobacco firms deserve to be bullied by the government.

In conclusion, assuming smoking stays legal, I don’t want anyone to say that anyone either should or should not smoke, but that’s because I don’t like being told what to think, do or say – not because of specific views on tobacco.

Which I think smells lovely fresh and vile stale.


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