Tobacco advertising has been banned for years. So why is smoking on the increase? The packs have fake nasty pictures on them and dire warnings of death and dismay, yet smoking is on the increase.
Packs are now to be all in plain grey (no skulls, sadly), a measure rendered pointless by ensuring they are hidden from view at point of sale. Smoking will increase further as a result.
The tobacco companies must be up in arms. But they're not. Not a peep out of them. They can't advertise and they can't have logos on the packs and their product must be hidden away from view and yet they make no complaint at all.
The government and their fakecharities tell us every day how terrible smoking is and how evil the tobacco companies are and yet the tobacco companies give no word of protest. Why?
It's finally dawned on me. Tobacco companies don't need to advertise. The government and ASH are doing it for them. For free. Before all the banning, you'd only hear about cigarettes if you wanted to buy some. Remember the Silk Cut billboard ads? If you didn't already smoke you'd never work out what they were advertising. Those are gone forever but the tobacco companies don't mind at all. It's saving them a fortune.
Now we hear about tobacco four or five times a day, every day. They get massive news coverage telling us that they are horrible and nasty but it's still legal to smoke them.
No wonder the tobacco companies are keeping quiet. They don't want to spoil this ad-fest that costs them nothing. Taking off the logos means the packs are cheaper to produce and they don't have to compete with each other on branding. Hiding them away makes the whole experience of buying tobacco like something out of a spy thriller. You'd approach the counter with your collar turned up. The tobacconist would say something like 'The penguins are in flight', you'd respond with 'Yes, but the chimpanzee is swimming' and he'd hand you twenty Benson's.
Making smoking more attractive? The government and ASH are making it irresistible!
Does Andy Burnham realise what he's doing? He might, although I doubt it. By continually pushing smoking as the most rebellious thing anyone can do in this country, he's recruiting new smokers and reinforcing existing ones. That will increase tobacco revenue - at least it would if it weren't for the EU allowing us to cross the Channel and stock up on the cheap. Pity I'm so far from it, although some does mysteriously end up in the area.
Naturally, it will backfire. Increasing numbers of smokers, all over 18, all voting at the general election - for any party that wants to leave them literally out in the cold?
As usual, Labour haven't thought it through. Have any of the others, I wonder? There are around two million votes for whoever works it out first.