|Playing hunt-the-fags-counter should keep the kids occupied|
“Anti-smoking measures in the last few years have failed to produce any further reduction in the number of British smokers,” admitted a shrew-faced government doctor. “It looks like pretty much everyone who might be persuaded to give up has given up, leaving a hard core of sinful hedonists who are fully aware of the risks of tobacco but obstinately continue to enjoy it anyway. How dare they.”
“At the same time, the government is unwilling to actually stop the sale of tobacco, because that tax revenue is all that’s keeping the NHS ticking over,” he added sourly. “However, computer modelling suggests that if the government breaks into smokers’ homes and hides their fags somewhere they’ll never find them – preferably while there are still at least 15 left in the packet - sales will actually increase even though consumption will fall.”
Government inspectors will be checking all smokers’ homes in the next few months, surreptitiously noting any nooks and crannies which might be able to conceal several hundred cigarette packets.
Just to annoy people, the government will also be persuading supermarkets to camouflage the tobacco counter behind milk cartons or cereal packets and keep moving it at random around the store on a daily basis. Also, starting in 2015, small retailers will have to remove their counter displays, forcing their customers to chase a furiously-pedalling man on a bicycle who will not be allowed to stop and serve them.
“It is wrong that, in this day and age, a small group of people can freely choose to poison their respiratory systems with toxic chemical compounds,” said a joyless man with a clipboard. “That is a skilled task which is best left to the experts who run the motor, power-generating and cereal-packaging industries.”