Saturday, 18 June 2011

The Smokophobes kill the wrong target again.

The Health Nazis have succeeded in banning cigarette vending machines. I never use them, the price is way over the top, and I don't know anyone who does use them. But then we do have a 24-hour Tesco here so there's little interest in buying a half-filled pack at full price. Also, the machines have never, as far as I know, carried rolling baccy. Even so, there are obviously people who do use them or they wouldn't exist.

This is billed as an attack on smokers but really, smokers will be entirely unaffected. The only difference will be that those who forget to pick up some smokes on the way to the pub will now have to remember to call in at Local Shop on the way. Adjustment will take a matter of days.

As to the 'kiddies might use them' nonsense, those kiddies really shouldn't be in the pub in the first place and setting up a remote lock so the barman can check your age before you use the machine isn't particularly difficult. That argument is irrelevant, as are most of those already accepted by the pinheads of government.

However, the entire cigarette vending machine industry has just become worthless. Have a factory making the machines? The factory, and everything in it, is worthless. You cannot sell up, you cannot recoup any losses, the specialised machinery is a load of scrap metal now. Have a business, built from scratch, based on the supply and maintenance of these machines? All your carefully-built business is now worth less than the shirt you're wearing. All your staff are out of work. Redundancy payments? With what? That stock of machines can't even be sold to cover the losses.

Everyone in that industry, from the managing director to the cigarette machine refilling operative, is now out of work. Not in October when the measures come in. Now. Are you seriously going to keep trying to run a business the Government has declared will close in a few months? Are you really going to keep making vending machines until October, when they will roll off the production line straight into the scrapyard?

All those people will be on benefits, all those people who once paid tax. All the company taxes stop coming in. All the VAT on the sales stops coming in. Suppliers of sheet metal, glass, plastic and other materials will see their order books shrink. Transport companies that used to move the materials to the factory and then move the machines from the factory to the pub will lose money. All these companies will lay off staff, those staff will no longer be taxpayers, the companies will all record lower profits and will all pay less tax.

The effect on the tobacco companies? Zero. Smokers will simply stock up at Aziz's Late Shop so tobacco sales will be unaffected. The effect on smokers? Apart from a little irritation at a new inconvenience for a few days, zero. The effect on underage smokers? Zero. Very few of them are buying from the machines and all of them have alternative suppliers.

Next, plain packaging hidden under the counter. The effects of this? Well, the shops will no doubt lose sales but the tobacco companies won't. Man with a Van buys his stock on the continent. The tobacco companies will not lose a penny. Legal sales will plummet but smokers will smoke, children will find them even easier to get because the criminals bringing it in don't care about age, and tobacco companies will remain a solid investment for the pensions of the same pinheads who are pretending to ban it.

Effect on smokers - zero.

Effect on tobacco companies - zero.

Effect on British industry and the economy - a disaster.

So, a round of applause for the smokophobes. They have moved us all one step closer to the Brown Gorgon's dream of a destitute country while having absolutely no effect whatsoever on smoking, other than making it far, far easier for children to get hold of cigarettes.

No wonder all their pensions invest in tobacco.

No wonder the tobacco companies do no more than make a few token objections. No matter where you buy tobacco, they make a profit. The only difference is which government gets the tax, and it will always be the country that charges the lowest duty.

Oh, and if you think you're safe with an Electrofag, best take a look at this. Apparently that water vapour is even more dangerous than tobacco smoke now.

What? Did you think the truth would save you? These people are not interested in truth. They don't want facts.

They want to control your life.

Unfortunately, their pathetic attempts to control the uncontrollable will only lead to disaster for everyone. Not just the smokers. The tax take will plummet as a result of these measures and it goes far, far beyond the simple duty on cigarettes. Since the pinheads can't even contemplate any form of control on their excessive spending, they will simply find new ways to take more money from us all.

The smokophobe drones won't see it because all they have is hate and spite. The ability to reason left them long ago. They are now open to any bizarre story as long as it fuels their hate and I'm happy to wind them to greater and greater heights of idiocy.

Those who can see what's coming can be ready. I see no reason to warn the enemy.

Anyway, it's time to leave for Smoky-Drinky. No pubs, no vending machines, no staff, no public access, and no bans. Nothing here has changed.

We're still laughing at you, smokophobes.


nisakiman said...

You are right on it LI. Everything you've written is correct. It's quite staggering how stupidly spiteful the 'phobes are. It quite takes my breath away that anyone can be so lacking in basic awareness. How on earth did they manage to survive for so long? According to Darwin's theory, they should have fallen by the wayside long ago.

Anonymous said...

Oh, they know perfectly well what they are doing. All this stuff about children is just a cover. They know very well that the easy way for youths to get cigs is for one who is 18 and has a passport to buy 20. He/she can then sell them for say, 40p each as singles. He makes a little profit and they all get the odd fag which their pocket money permits.

They know that. No, their objective is to remove THE TOBACCO SUPPLY. At a stroke, a supply is significantly reduced in places where they might be tempted.

But we should be aware that the ruling only says that banning vending machines is lawful. The Gov is not obliged to follow through. It probably will, though, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

"The measure, drawn up by the Department of Health to combat under-age smoking,"

Oh really?

Article 13

12. Retail sale and display

14. Vending machines should be banned because they constute by their very presence a means of advertising or promotion under the terms of the Convention."

Anonymous said...

This is the scary bit...

"But the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, said that given the health risks posed by tobacco, ‘virtually any measure which a government takes to restrict the availability of tobacco products, especially to young people, is almost self-evidently one with which no court should interfere’.

Although statistics used by the DoH to justify the ban were ‘little more than guesses’, the judge said they did ‘not appear fanciful’ and the ban was ‘lawful’ and ‘proportionate’."

Re-read it again -

"‘virtually any measure which a government takes..."

then juxtapose with...

"statistics used by the DoH to justify the ban were ‘little more than guesses..."


Dick Puddlecote said...

It's never been about health, and that's the best bit. The idiots who have fallen for all that guff are exhibiting their lack of intellect every time they post their selfish bullshit.

This is the silver lining to all of this. It helps us to spot the dimmest bulbs in the UK box as they had been deadly silent before July 2007.

The absurd claims of the (r)antis just make it easier to paint them as complete lunatics. Interesting times :).

Anonymous said...

You’re right, of course, Leggy. Most vending machine suppliers will simply shut up shop and sign on the dole. Except for the canny ones, who will do the most sensible thing (hint, hint here for anyone in the vending machine business, or anyone who knows anyone in the vending machine business) and (1) remove the coin-op mechanism, (2) remove any tobacco-related pictures or logos and (3) then tout them around retail outlets as cigarette dispensing machines for use behind the counter by staff, in preparation for the display ban. Because we just know, don’t we, boys and girls, that the display ban isn’t going to allow anything as simple and cheap to install as a curtain across the gantries or a normal opening cupboard, which little shops could install quickly and easily, is it? A de-commissioned vending machine is the perfect answer – all packets completely concealed, packets only visible at the point at which they are handed to the customer, no logos, pictures or anything which could be construed as “advertising.” And albeit a little shorter, they’ll fit pretty much perfectly into the empty space behind shop and garage counters where the gantries now stand.

They could also offer to supply them, suitably re-born as “dispensing machines” to pubs and clubs who currently have vending machines in place – although space might be more of a problem in many small pubs who currently don’t have a tobacco display to “lose” to free up space. But hey, some of bigger places would probably go for it.

And who knows - if pubs start selling cigarettes at normal prices, rather than at the extortionate rates currently charged by vending machines, they might even get a teeny bit more custom to boost their flagging fortunes from customers who drop by to get their daily cigs and who might just choose to have a "swift half" whilst they are there ……? Well, the antis have always said that pubs would need to "change with the times" in order to survive, haven't they - although I suspect that they didn't envisage that expanding into cigarette sales would feature as one of those much-lauded "changes." But who knows? And how ironic would it be to see headlines screaming: “Local pub saved by new cigarette sales regulations.”

But I digress. I don’t know if these machines are usually leased or purchased outright, but if leased, maintenance and renewal contracts could then simply be established with shops in the same way as they are now established with pubs and clubs. So clever vending machine suppliers who grasp the nettle now may actually see their customer base increase, rather than decrease as a result of this daft ruling (and the inevitable ensuing legislation).

Problem solved – and one in the eye for the Puritans! God, I'm wasted in my job, I tell you. Wasted!

Nightwatchstate said...

Dear God. It actually happened. Mentalists

Pavlov's Cat said...

A bit OT but Also, the machines have never, as far as I know, carried rolling baccy.

Back in the day, when you could still get 20 fags out of them, I used several pubs where you could get 1/2oz of Golden Virginia and a packet of greens out of the fag machine

Leg-iron said...

Junican - they'll never remove the tobacco supply. They could make it illegal because that has worked so very well with cocaine, heroin, marytheiguana, guns, knives...

All they will do is progressively reduce the tax income on tobacco and related industries. Eventually they will run out of money because they are closing down their own sources.

I think they should be encouraged to take this as far as they can because when they get to the top of their mountain, they'll find it's really a house of cards.

And they'll find a smoker has set fire to the bottom row ;)

Leg-iron said...

Anon 22:41 - it doesn't scare me. These cat-herders have been around forever. Every measure they apply backfires. Every single one.

They will never understand why. They won't even try. That is why they have always, and will always, fail.

They are getting ever more desperate now. They know they are at the cusp of another failure but they are incapable of adjusting. All they can do is keep pushing and pushing the same agenda in the hope that this time, it won't make them look like dicks.

It's like watching an idiot try to stop his car driving over a cliff by making it go even faster.

Leg-iron said...

Pavlov's Cat - I've never seen that. Although I know a few brands now sell half-ounces in a pack that looks just like 20 readymades.

I wonder how many have opened that pack and been surprised to find that it's a kit.

Anonymous said...

Hi LI.

You are right, of course, but the reduction of supply is their aim. One of the ASH zealots (or some such) actually said so. The phrase was something like: "With cigarettes now removed from pubs......."

That lead me to think along Anon 23:37 's lines, butt not the vending machine as dispenser, idea! (Good, that, Anon) I was thinking about pubs resuming tobacco sales from behind the bar.

I remember a certain shop in the town I lived in many years ago having a cig machine outside! And lit up at night! OOOOOh, my God! Think of the children!

Leg-iron said...

Junican - in 1971, there was a vending machine outside Local Shop that was stocked with packs of ten, and was available all night. To anyone.

Oddly, there wasn't much underage smoking around. Smoking was normal then, it wasn't of interest to teen rebels.

ASH have changed that.

Anonymous said...

When I was living near the Germany/Netherlands border in the early 70s one could buy rolling 'baccy from vending machines in Holland. The machines were labelled with the snigger-inducing name "Autoshag".

zero tolerance (nose bollock all 'bout science) said...


Oddly, there wasn't much underage smoking around. Smoking was normal then, it wasn't of interest to teen rebels.

yeah, ban it, an' it will immediately shute straight to the top of the 'it parade - famous 'its in 'istory 'aving bin the sex-pistols an' marijuana.

in the face of regulated roight-loight régimes, such as we 'ave 'ere in britain, i 'ereby state my intention to foight for 'an exercize the involuntary 'an divine roight to smoke meself to death 'aving paid for the consequences and the parliamentary privilege via me unearned taxes. dirty fuckin' wrotters.

Anonymous said...

Yes, LI, It would have been about then. So the zealots have been practising for quite a while, then.

I agree with you about youths of the day. Not interested in smoking or beer or whiskey. When I first had the opportunity (Dad saying, "Here, have a taste"), my first impressions were, "Ugh! Horrible!"

No. Alcohol is an acquired taste, as is smoking.

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