In discussion with a local shopkeeper, it came to light that there will be legislation soon demanding that every cigarette pack contains at least 20.
No more 10-packs. No cleverly cutting the price per box by selling 19 or 18 instead of 20. Every pack will contain at least 20.
The reason? The shopkeeper actually believes that it’s to stop children smoking because they won’t be able to afford a pack of 20. Really.
Doesn’t he think kids will pool their cash and buy a pack between them? You know, the way they do now?
Doesn’t he think older kids will buy a pack and sell them individually to other kids at a profit? You, know, the way they do now?
This legal dictatorship will achieve only one thing. The imposition of 20 cigarettes’ worth of duty on every smoker every time they buy a pack. No chance for the 10-a-day smoker to keep his habit low. He’ll have to buy 20 at a time. His daily intake will creep up because he’s no longer counting down from 10 throughout the day.
Government has set another precedent here. Not only can they dictate prices and packaging, they can now dictate what’s in the packaging.
If you think that stops with smoking, you haven’t been paying attention.