Ben Thomas writes:
An under-reported legislative reform will, alongside the rising minimum age, drastically lower the amount of nicotine allowed in cigarettes on sale.
As a way of understanding how monstrous this anodyne-sounding proposal actually is, consider if the same proposal was floated for party drugs such as MDMA, which this Government recently legalised testing for at festivals and events. These drugs cause relatively few negative health consequences, but can be acutely dangerous when cut with impurities and unknown substances by dealers.
If the Ministry of Health suggested the solution to festival drug use was to intercept pills at testing stations and cut them with twice as much rat poison and chalk for users to ultimately ingest, it would be regarded as a psychopath with little regard for human life.
Yet the proposal will require addicts to inhale many more times the amount of deadly tar and burning ash – the elements of a cigarette which damage human health on an unprecedented level globally – and spend even more money, to get the same level of relatively harmless nicotine hit as before.
Yep, it is as crazy as it sounds.