Absolutely stunning news over the last few days that cigarettes will now no longer be allowed to be displayed up-front to customers. If I understand the news correctly, effectively this comes in on the 5th April 2012 in supermarkets and means that shops like Sainsbury's, ASDA and Tesco can no longer put your fags on display behind the counter. Unbelieveable! I think the government is getting this all wrong, I really do. The visibility of cigarettes in a shop does not contribute heavily to the numbers of people choosing to take up smoking, and frankly anyone who thinks so is an idiot. I'm not usually so strongly spoken against the silly "health laws" that the government chooses to bring in, but this is absolutely ridiculous. You know the old chestnut about MPs not living in the real world? This is the best example I've heard for a long time.
Ask anyone why they started smoking - just do it. Ask anyone and I guarantee that NOT ONE OF THEM will suggest that they did so because of the shiny wrappers and "LOL!" moment of seeing that one of the packs had a frickin' camel on it. Sheeesh! Idiots! Cigarettes are not toys and they're not sweets - a fact that is blindingly obvious to even a child. If you put a pokemon on the cigarette box then maybe you'd have a point, but even then it's stupidity to think that this law is going to make a scrap of difference.
You know, the only effect of this law that I can see happening is that people are going to have to go into shops now and say "Do you sell fags?". This is an obstruction to a sale, and I think that if there's any effect to cigarette sales at all, it will be to individual shops and not to actual fag sales. I suspect that supermarkets and other shops will actually lose money as the customer is no longer sure that they actually sell them, and who wants to join a queue only to find out the answer is "No."
Gah! Stupid government.