I haven't used a cigarette vending machine since the 1980's. They always cost more and they'd had a few fags nicked from every pack.
When I was around 20, there was an old stainless-steel vending machine outside Local Shop. In those days, if you had suggested 24-hour opening to the perpetrators of Local Shop you'd have left with bruises and possibly an unfortunately inserted cucumber. That vending machine, along with one for bubblegum and another for chocolate, was their version of 24-hour sales and it probably averaged about five out-of-hours sales a week. I used it once, late at night. It sold packs of ten, and they actually had ten in them too!
I can't remember what it cost but it used coins, and pounds were notes back then so it was probably cheap enough to drain all the colour out of a Righteous face. When cigs became more expensive the machines were taken in at night because they'd get stolen or broken, and once it dawned on Local Shop that having a vending machine was pointless because it was only in use when the shop was open anyway, it disappeared.
Now they are all going to disappear. The entire cigarette-vending industry is to shut down and everyone in it is to be made unemployed because the Cleggeron Coagulation have the brain of a duck and the spine of a sponge.
This will not stop children getting hold of cigarettes. It will make it easier for children to get hold of cigarettes because the dodgy cigarette dealers have been preparing for this day for some time. They've probably been involved in lobbying for it. A whole new batch of customers is about to head their way. As always, prohibition benefits only the criminals and even though this happens every time, the Righteous don't care. They have their ban and that's all they care about. Fingers in ears, la-la-la, job done. Dick Puddlecote has the measure of these people. They care nothing for anyone as long as they get their twisted way.
The Cleggeron? Oh, they have their smug self-satisfaction and the sad and feeble illusion that at least one member of the public doesn't think they are all utter dicks and they're happy with that. Tory and Lib Dem MPs - you have just lost the vote of everyone who used to work in any capacity in the vending industry as well as every pub drunk who runs out of smokes halfway through the evening, along with the family and friends associated with them all. Well done. Keep it up and you'll get that small-print footnote in history you've been aiming for.
That's one more click of the ratchet. One more twist of the highly-tensioned spring. What's next? Classing smokers as 'offenders'?
Ah no. That's already started.