The bumbling Australian Labor government had a rare win last week when the High Court upheld their right to force tobacco companies to sell their cigarettes in plain packaging. Well, not plain exactly. The packets will have graphic photos of some of the consequences of smoking on them. Gangrenous feet, rotten teeth, mouth cancer - all those good things. Now other countries are looking at similar legislation. Even India. Of course plain packaging won't stop hardened smokers buying the awful things. Many of them would smoke dogs' bush chocolate if it was wrapped in white paper and came in a packet of twenty. With any luck it might stop kids being attracted to smoking though. Even the dumbest, spottiest teenager is less likely to buy something featuring a gangrenous foot on the packet rather than a trendy, cool logo in attractive colours.
Smoking has become an integral part of love making.
I don't allow my staff to smoke of course and as a result they both hate the smell of cigarettes, and that's just as well because it is becoming harder and harder to be a smoker in Australia. Even the local beach is non-smoking now. You can imaging my staff's horror therefore when they visited Switzerland a couple of years ago and found that all the restaurants there still allowed smoking. Sure there were non-smoking tables but they'd be right next to a table containing a family of eight all puffing away (even the two year old in the high chair). Badger and I have never heard the last if that. To this day they still mutter "What's the point of having non-smoking tables in a smoking restaurant? You might as well have a pissing section in a swimming pool." Crude perhaps, but they make a good point don't you think? Switzerland! This is the nation that doesn't allow you to flush your toilet after eleven at night in case you wake your neighbours. Yet they are quite happy to let you kill your fellow restaurant goers by means of passive smoking.
A scene from a typical Swiss restaurant.
Naturally First and Business class passengers are given Cuban cigars which are traditionally rolled on the thighs of a virgin. This is true actually, not a myth at all, but what they don't tell is that the virgin is the geeky, obese forty-one year old son of a tobacco plantation owner with bad breath and a very unfortunate perspiration problem.
Professional cigar roller Juan Balltoomenni.
So, what's next? Bottles of vodka with labels portraying rotten livers or the body of a young child killed by a drunk driver? Junk food wrappers with a photo of someone having a triple heart bypass operation? Poker machines on which the symbols portray empty wallets, kids sitting around a table with no food, a desperate man hanging himself because he's lost everything. Why not if it helps?
I agree with Billy. Having opposable thumbs is definitely over rated. Anyway I'd hate to have my beautiful, pristine feet stained yellow with tobacco.