Vending the rules

My great friend Luke Clancy is at it again.

He and his buddy pals in gubmint and Tobacco Control have come up with a whizz on an idea – let's ban cigarette vending machines!

Isn't that a blast?

You see apparently cheeeldren are frequenting our pubs and nightclubs and these insidious machines are positively screaming at them to take up smoking.  “Vending machines by their very presence help to advertise and promote tobacco products.” Good God Almighty!  I suppose the same can be said for condom vending machines?  They are promoting promiscuous sex by their very presence? You'll find them in pubs and nightclubs too?

There is a bit of a problem though.  Since the display ban came in, most shops now have vending machines to dispense the fags.  You ask for a pack, the bloke presses the appropriate brand button and out pops the pack, presumably to see daylight for the first time.  Are they going to ban those too?  If so, then the shopkeepers will have to resort back to doors again, and when those doors are opened and the contents made visible, every child within a ten mile radius instantly becomes hooked.

I notice one thing about the proposal – there is no mention of health.  That's a serious omission on their part, or are they finally admitting that it is fuck all to do with health and is merely another step in their quest to "denormalise" smokers and banish tobacco?

Well, yes.  That's exactly what Clancy said – "It sounds anachronistic to have vending machines when we’re banning point of sale advertising, we’re introducing plain packaging, we’re putting price up and we’re trying to eliminate and de-normalise smoking".

Just another little salami-slice on the way to their puritanical goal.



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Vending the rules — 12 Comments

  1. A lot of people I know use mobile vending machines for their smokes,  known as Hiace vans they're easy to recognize, most of them have yellow license plates. Can't stop them unless they close the border.

    • Those vans are perfectly okay.  All the smokes are hidden from view up to the point of sale [and even then it's usually done in a secluded spot].  It's the very sight of smokes that is the danger.

  2. They should ban condom vending machines too – some kids are using them as party balloons. Used rubber pollutes footpaths, and plays havoc with washing machines if mixed with bed linen. Then there are the gobstopper vending machines. If they ban them some kids will never shut up. Busybody state regulation is a menace to normal society.

  3. Pretty sure the omission of any health related goal is a teeny tiny Freudian slip on their part. All these measure are supposedly for the benefit of “public health” right?

    I call bollocks.

  4. Ya boo sucks!  We've had a vending machine ban here for yonks!  Beatcha to it this time!  Although I could never quite understand why anyone ever used them anyway, except in an emergency (like running out of ciggies mid-evening in the pub) – they were always hugely expensive and the packs only held a measly 18 smokes!

    • The UK Vending machines were a complete rip off – Here I believe the  minimum quantity allowed to be sold is a pack of 20


  5. It’s all about punishing smokers for smoking. The idea is to make it as inconvenient as possible for smokers to enjoy their legal fix.

    And god forbid you want to enjoy your smoke with a pint.

    • Surely the logical step for pubs and nightclubs is to just go back to sales at the counter?  Extra work for the bar staff of course, but no effect on the punter?

      • Stock control is the real issue for selling packs over the counter – at a tenner a pack theres potential for big losses through pilferage


        Much easier for a company to install the machine 

        • When our vending machine ban came in, a few pubs did start selling tobacco from behind the bar but, as I say, so few people needed to buy cigarettes once they were actually in the pub that most didn't bother.  Then, of course, the ban came in and the number of customers, including smoking ones, plummeted so much that now I only know of one pub in my area which still sells them.  Hmm – that’s a thought.  I wonder whether, with the new “plain packs” coming in and the need to store cigarettes out of sight (probably in a pub, that would be “out back” somewhere, maybe even upstairs) whether a few pubs might just start up a little sideline in ciggie-selling to their “regulars,” using supplies from their friendly – err – local “white van man” ??? Might just perk up the fast-sliding pub industry!

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