The most ridiclous idea ever . . .

This idea of having a licence to smoke just makes me cringe.

 Professor Le Grand, seems to think that smokers would be more willing to give up if they had to pay £10 for a licence to buy cigarettes, that is just the most irrational logic I have ever heard.

If you smoke 20 cigarettes a day, thats £5 a day roughly, £35 a week, £140 a month, £1680 a year.

He is definetely right!! if someone spends £1680 a year, they are almost certain to quit if they have to pay an extra £10. That is the same as adding 3p on budget day to a packet of 20, does he think that would make people quit?

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11 thoughts on “The most ridiclous idea ever . . .

  1. Perhaps it isn’t the financial implications of the licence though. Perhaps the nature of having to apply for a licence and fill in paperwork, and have it approved by someone before you can get your cigarettes is meant to be enough to put anyone off! Generally paperwork annoys people, so if you want people to cut down/stop, adding paperwork to the proceedings could help?

  2. I do take that view into consideration Luke, It is just a rather depressing thought the only way we can get the British people to stop smoking is just to fill in forms.

    A friend of mine is trying to give up smoking for lent, I think the idea of a few forms standing in his way is certainly not difficult.

    There is also the issue of people buyiong cigarettes for other people as well, if people really want them, the illegal smuggling of cigarette trading in the UK is already at an all time high, I don’t think this would do much to improve it.

    I just don’t think a few forms and a one off charge of £10 will stop them, just sounds like more stealth taxes and even more bureaucracy, which I think we had had enough of under this government!!

  3. I completely agree we have had enough bureaucracy, but I think, for me personally, I’ve had more than enough of smokers whinging about how repressed they are by the smoking ban etc. If paperwork is the only way to slow smokers down/ stop them entirely, then lets go for it.

  4. Ah, but just think of the wonderful job creation scheme! Administrators needed to supervise the forms, send them back when incorrectly completed, issue the licences, send out renewals (one, two and three), file the licences, etc. Then there will need to be an army of enforcers (I don’t think we can trust the PCSOs with something this important), to inspect your licence, report infringements and – what? Take you to court? Call the bailiffs? Ideal – more work for lawyers too! Just what the country needs, more quango non-jobs and hence more people dependent on the state….

  5. That is a brilliant summary Susie, and it was not even something that I had considered!!

    I don’t think I heard Deirdie’s comments on stamp duty, if you could enlighten us Mr. Matthew . . .

    I agree that we should offer better help for people getting off smoking, but to me the idea of putting more paperwork in front of them just seems a bit bizarre, at the end of the day it is people’s choice if they want to smoke. There are numerous obstacles already in the way, I think a form would have little impact.

  6. Yeah, it certainly sounds like a crazy idea, but I agree with Luke in that having to fill in an application to smoke is very discouraging in its nature. It’s must be almost as confessional as having to attend a smokers anonymous meeting.

    The only thing that worries me is that if the Conservatives ever get into power, the free market will take hold of the licensed smokers’ personal details, and they’ll be sold off for £100 a go to the fag companies.

    PS. I didn’t really mean the last point, I just enjoy getting a reaction from the free-marketeers and am feeling sadistically in the mood for an argument about lost data discs.

  7. “It’s so difficult for young people to get on the housing ladder. The average house price in the UK has almost tripled in the last ten years and according to the Halifax the estimated number of first time buyers in 2006 was the lowest since 1980.”

    She’s talking about cuts in stamp duty and suggests that what is effectively a tax cut of under 3.5% will help with the fact that house prices have risen by about 280%. Wow! What a Chancellor she’d make.

  8. Surely you start smoking on your own, so you should quit on your own? Why should the government provide any help whatsoever?

    On the subject of a smoking licence, it all seems a bit silly really. There’s already tax on cigarettes, but I suppose if the Labour government (who can’t seem to control their own finances, let alone the countrys) need some more money, a smoking licence might well provide this!

  9. Joe I know your comment was light-hearted but the idea that this would have anything more than a miniscule effect on the public finances is ridiculous.

    The comments here seem to be assuming that this is government policy. It reminds me of those Daily Mail Headlines where they’ve found some unknown academic who off-handedly suggests that pigs should be removed from nursery rhymes (so as not to offend Muslims) and then report it as if it were news.

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