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.