RGTyler: Plain Package Cigarettes… The Nanny State Strikes Again!

The Government, this week, has announced yet another policy U-Turn. This time on plain packaging for cigarettes. The opposition pressured the government into the U-Turn with claims that they were in bed with big Tobacco companies. Whether or not this is true is beside the point. What I do want to look at is the fact that this policy is absolutely nuts.

The government are claiming that plain packaging, which will assumingly be olive green like in Australia, will somehow put people off. If anything the plain packaging, with small Time New Roman branding on it, will just put the shopkeepers off.

“Can I have a pack of Marlboro Red please?”

“Certainly sir…” The newsagent turns around to look at the shelf. He is met with a wall of identical cartons. “Here you go sir.” He says as he hands over the wrong brand of cigarettes, the ones that contain menthol that apparently shrink mens testicles.

At least when you buy at the moment you can buy cigarettes and know which poison you’re taking.

Now that we have established the basic impracticalities of the plain packaging we might as well look at the more philosophical and political problem we are posed with. Who are the state to stop us from smoking? The State isn’t there to tell us what we can and can’t do. Its meant to protect us from external threats and preserve free markets, not tell us what we can eat, drink or smoke.

Is putting plain packaging on cigarettes really going to stop people smoking? NO! But pressure from Friends and Family will. The same goes for Alcohol and Drugs. Then there’s the “What about the Children?!” argument, to which I say its the responsibility of the parents/guardian and anyone else with legal responsibility in the general area to prevent them from getting a hold of these substances. And if they reach the legal (Or a responsible) age and want to try them, let them. Its all about experimentation and trial and error. If they don’t like it they won’t do it.

And yes I know I haven’t mentioned the NHS… I feel that thats an internal matter for them. It’s their choice how they treat smokers the same way that a private healthcare company may charge smokers more for treatment. But in the end I’m not a fan of the NHS as it stands at the moment anyway. But thats an issue for another time.

6 comments on “RGTyler: Plain Package Cigarettes… The Nanny State Strikes Again!

  1. Officer Crabtree
    November 28, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    As a smoker I couldn’t agree more. This policy is merely caving into the health lobby and the hysterical do-gooders.

    If they want to stop people smoking and the associated health issues then ban it. They won’t as it is a cash cow for the treasury. Why not let smokers, responsible adults, choose how and what they smoke. If they think people smoke because of brightly coloured packets then they truly live in cloud cuckoo land.

    As an aside, plain packaging is mana from heaven for cigarette counterfeiters.

  2. Woorde
    November 28, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    Maybe there should be legislation for the type and frequency of sexual activity ( also a determinant of health) …. and depressives cost the NHS money tooo and drive down tax revenues through sick-days… legislate for minimum exercise per week therefore and against any activity which might cause depression. As for cars…..
    Its endless….
    The question is: will this trend be relentless or will there come a (tipping) point at which it becomes an issue taken up by the meeja…. ?
    Does anyone know of a historical precendent ?

  3. baronessthatcher
    November 29, 2013 at 1:03 am #

    You’d think that Dave had more pressing issues, really. Still if the eu shouts, Britain must jump.


  4. Simon Roberts
    November 29, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    It certainly won’t stop me smoking.

    The only people that will be affected are the poor shop assistants who will be confused by the packaging.

    Queues in shops will also get longer as we smokers have to hold everyone up as we double-check that we have been given the correct product.

  5. John B
    November 29, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    Next: sweets; biscuits; fizzy drinks; butter and cheese… in plain packets. It meets the same logic test, if you want a Fascist State.

    I never have smoked, don’t like it, don’t like people smoking near me but do not agree with all the banning. All I want is to be in a smoke-free environment in restaurants, bars, trains, etc but that does not mean provision should not be made in such environments for those who wish to smoke.

    People should be free to chose.

  6. kevinsmith2013
    November 29, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    These people are just clearly insane, do they seriously believe for one deranged moment that the packaging will make any difference whatsoever? Never smoked, never will and as John B says prefer to be away from smoke, but people should be able to smoke if they want, after all its not illegal.

    Just about agree with banning smoking on aircraft, but only because its one place you really dont want a fire breaking out.

    Pubs should be able to choose to be either smoking pubs, or non-smoking pubs, or have smoking and non-smoking rooms, let people choose how they wish to socialise.

    At least it reminds us, if we need reminding, that we do not live in a free society, and that must be clearly obvious to anyone.

    Another litmus test for freedom is to stop paying your tax, you’ll soon find out free you are then. I know, from recent experience, having just made the momentous decision to downsize to pay off tax demands. Not that I was refusing to pay, just I couldn’t, but guess what, they don’t really care about that, they have the EU to fund, the banks to bail out, the planet to save (MMGW), index-linked public sector pensions to fund, welfare recipients to keep, the worlds starving to save (foreign aid), illegal wars to fight, not to mention debt and interest on debt to service. The fact I don’t agree with any of those, and don’t wish to contribute to any matters not one jot!

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