More from the war on smoking: according to Scotland on Sunday, the Scottish Executive wants to ban 10-packs of cigarettes. Inevitably, it’s to protect the kiddies.
One source on the group said: “These packs of 10 are a particular problem because they are, obviously, cheaper than packs of 20 and they can afford them more easily. Also, they are slimmer and fit more easily into a pocket or a school rucksack. Easier to hide too.”
Another group insider said: “The consensus is that we believe that these packs should be banned. We think that banning these packs is the least we can do to tackle smoking among young people. The big thing which will make the difference for the general population is obviously the ban on smoking in public places such as bars and restaurants. But that doesn’t deal with children smoking.”
For what it’s worth, my teenage smoking consisted largely of nicked cigarettes from my mum’s packs, and individual cigarettes bought from older kids. As for hideability, I’m not convinced that 10-packs are any easier to hide than anything else; if the kids were worried about portability, they’d be buying crack.
I reckon it’s a cop-out. We already have laws that prohibit the sale of cigs to kids, and if the exec wishes it can up the minimum age from 16 to 18. The problem is that the laws are rarely enforced.
The executive seems to be working on the principle that it’s better to ban things than to enforce existing laws. On that basis, expect similar curbs on the way adults can buy booze.