Oh dear, what a shame. This terminally uncool government does something sensible at last - raises the age of smoking from an amazing 16 to 18, though not until October 1. Coupled with the ban on smoking in workplaces from July 1 this should finish off this idiot uncool habit at last - though it would perhaps be best if cigarette sales were banned entirely.
It's not illiberal to get rid of this idiocy, any more than it's illiberal to ban murder or rape.
Basically smoking is the most uncool thing of all - worse than kipper ties, the macarena or christianity. Perhaps public humiliation of the old folk that still do it would be a good way forward, chucking buckets of ice cold water over them when you catch them lurking in their phlegm-filled council flats coughing unhygienically. I'd be up for it.
So what drives 9% of kids to smoke? Irony, idiocy, lack of self-respect or is it just the uncool lefty geeky ones who also play the harmonica, knit their own tank tops and think David Essex has something relevant to say?
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