Tuesday, September 30, 2003

New EU smoking regulations

One thought that went through my mind as the US and UK invaded Iraq was, 'What will they do for a bogeyman now?'. Saddam was a nasty piece of work but not essential in any way to the smooth running of anything, so stories about him could be whipped up whenever necessary. From this point of view, it would be better for the various governments involved not to catch Saddam - or Osama bin Laden, for that matter.

In the same way, what will the health authorities do when they've finally banned smoking altogether? It's probably the one thing you can get everyone to agree is bad for your health, even if there are plenty of people who think that if adults want to smoke, they should be allowed to get on with it. The latest regulation involves increasing the size of health warnings, reducing the maximum tar content, and banning descriptions like 'light' or 'low-tar'.

The new health warnings have induced a new pastime in which smokers see whose packet has the most damning statement. Still, Europe hasn't gone quite as far as Canada with its graphic pictures of diseased lungs etc. I bet they swap used packets like football or baseball cards.

BBC News | End of the lights? (slideshow)


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