Cigarette companies who argue that promotion just encourages smokers to switch brands (rather than encouraging new users to light up) will have another dilemma to chew over as the UK government announces later today that it plans to force fag companies to sell their wares in plain wrappers (excepting the increasingly gruesome health warnings).
It’s been coming for a while of course in the train of the banning of smoking in public places.
Some might wonder why the Government doesn’t ban smoking altogether but, if it did, it would be deluged with lawsuits from the tobacco companies and lose a fortune in taxes, which make up most of the cost of a packet of 20.
So people will doubtless go on puffing despite the consequences and the Government.
And the tobacco companies will make even more money as they won’t even need to pay for pretty packs any more. The advertising ban on cigarettes has already boosted their coffers substantially as their marketing costs have diminished drastically.
So, in the spirit of nostalgia, let’s have a look at a good old fag commercial. From CDP for Benson & Hedges in 1973 with Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan and James Villiers (they really were the days).