a quite famous book, the name of which escapes me, commenced with the words it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. i can recall, quite fondly look you see, this opening causing some distress when the clever one out of Cheers attempted to read it to his fellow patrons in the bar what they were all always in; the name of which escapes me for the moment.
to use these opening words, that first sentence out of A Tale Of Two Cities off of Charles Dickens, has become something of a cliche over the years, then. which is why i have elected not to use them here, as appropriate as they are, except to use them in the way i did.
the inevitable has happened to me, alas. yes, my preferred (as in the cheapest available) brands of cigarettes, or if you like fags, have been blessed with the regulation change to the packaging and content.
with the world being absolutely perfect in every respect and their being virtually nothing else for them to do the politicians of our world have, but of course, set out to "do some good" in changing the laws around cigarettes. far be it from me to suggest that they do so as it is an easy target and a simplistic way to make it look like they do something for the benefit of people.
if they did do something to benefit we, the people, well, if they were all that bothered about the health of people and how that's affected by cigarettes they would simply ban tobacco products. ha, no, but of course not, for they quite like the tax revenue. also, if the people let the government ban fags, then who knows what licence that will give them to ban next. booze, probably.
for those of you who are not living in England, or for some reason are not smokers but have some sort of interest in cigarettes, the law was changed so that by May of this year (maybe March), all cigarettes had to be sold in plain, standard packets, and must contain at least 20 cigarettes. the latter point is of some relevance, but we will get to that.
the idea behind the change of packaging is a most splendid Australian idea, from Australia i think. some boffins, who no doubt got many hundreds of thousands of pounds to carry out research, decided that it was colourful, pretty and shiny packaging what caused people to smoke, rather than the nicotine in the cigarettes or the nice feeling some of us get from them.
to this extent, then, we now have a semi or if you like off brown colour to all cigarette packages, with a standard font being used for all brands. much, much more space on the packets has now been given over to some warnings.
my biggest concern with the changes was, as much as i love shiny things, the change which meant that packets needed to have at least 20 in them. this was something which i suspected would put the price of a packet up, which it has. or at least i thought it had. let me elaborate.
the majority of brands of cigarettes here in England, indeed probably the whole of the UK (except maybe Scotland, who seem determined to do their own thing), have for a few years been selling packets featuring 17, 18 or 19 cigarettes rather than the standard 20. i never bothered to investigate, but i just took it as a given that this was to somehow cut the sale cost to we, the people.
this theory of mine seemed more or less right, when you consider that, for example, a pack of 18 Chesterfield Red cost £5.99, whereas 20 B&H or Marlboro (sigh, how i miss Marlboro) cost north of £9.50.
so, how has the enforced increase in the number of cigarettes per packet affected my two brands? well, stats are awesome in this respect. here, if you will, is or are the mathematics of it all......
was £5.99 for 18 - 33.3p per cigarette (ish)
now £6.99 for 20 - 35p per cigarette (ish)
B&H Sky Blue
was £5.90 for 17 - 34.7p per cigarette (ish)
now £6.90 for 20 - 34.5p per cigarette (exact)
so, then, yes. somehow this rules and regulation change has managed to make one of my packets of cigarettes of choice cheaper. which means i have gone from the worst of times, thinking that i would from an economic point of view have to start taking quitting/cutting down considerably seriously, to the best of times, the government has managed to make smoking cheaper.
yes, i probably should be cutting down, quitting, etc. and perhaps i will, for despite the unit cost being cheaper the actual cost of a packet is now more. smoking is, as per the warnings here, not at all good for you. the main motivator for quitting, however, would always be economic. this latest measure to try and persuade me to stop has missed that point, some.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!