They’re banning 10-packs of cigarettes on Friday

Mate it’s my last one


If you buy a 10-pack of cigarettes, you are lying to yourself.

You are a social smoker, you tell yourself. You only smoke on Saturdays, you tell yourself. And Fridays. And Thursdays, which have long-since been the new Fridays, or something. Also when you’re stressed. And when you are having a drink. Which is six days out of seven.

And the ten-pack is the accessory of your deception. As long as you’re buying those, you’re not a real smoker. Unfortunately, though, your ruse has been busted – the laws on cigarette packaging will outlaw 10-packs from this Friday.

Packaging will also be amended so that it is standardised, uninspiring and covered in health warnings. 60 per cent of the casing will show images and text that warn about how smoking affects your health. Tobacco companies must also stop using words like ‘organic’, ‘natural’ or ‘lite’ as they might suggest a ‘healthier’ option to smokers.

It’s to save us all, of course. Public health bodies hope that the new regulations will stop people from taking up smoking. At the moment, 600 young people take up the habit every day.

The new rules come in on 20 May – though tobacco companies will have a year to get rid of their old stock and start phasing in the new packaging, so you’ll probably still see the same brash 10-packs in shops for a while. Tobacco companies tried to fight the decision but the European Court of Justice ruled that the EU Tobacco Products Directive is lawful.

So now you must drop the act and search your soul: social smoker or real smoker?