Another year has gone by and we have seen the introduction of standardised cigarette and rolling tobacco packaging across the United Kingdom while tobacco prohibition has been fully implemented across Welsh and English Prisons.

Since the introduction of standardised packaging some of you may have noticed the now very familiar sight of foreign cigarette packs resting on bear garden tables or discarded in litter hotspots. Though holiday makers legally importing large amounts of tobacco is nothing new there is now more incentive to stockpile not just on price but on appearance of the product as well. The main looser in this legislation will be the British Government who may have shot themselves in the foot. There is even now mention of demand for legislating that the cigarettes themselves have to look unattractive, so even when the UK leaves the EU some may still decide by that point to import and pay the tax at the UK border.

PrintWeek Article: Plain Packaging could Cost Beverage Industry Nearly $300bn

The Welsh and English prison smoking ban started with riots, but may now result in a rise of convicts using the synthetic drug Spice due to price. Spice is harmful to the point that even some of the most laid back of libertarians would not recommend it. No doubt that with the combination of tobacco withdrawal and Spice use, prison violence will unfortunately go up. In the end this will eventually have a domino effect on the country as a whole due to convicts staying longer in prison because of bad behaviour, then left unenthusiastic to find work on release due to their jaded outlook.

Independent Article: Spice now Half the Price of Tobacco in Prisons, Reveals Government Report

More recently the year ended with some very surprising good news! The coming Austrian full indoor smoking ban which was due to be implemented in May 2018 has been overturned. While UK readers may say ‘so what’, this is the first time in a long time that any smoking ban has been overturned. This also completely bucks the trend while some other countries have moved onto outdoor smoking bans. While California’s controversial early nighties smoking ban somehow got the ball rolling on the nanny bully state, Austria may, just maybe, get that ball to stop and roll the other way, but we will have to wait and see.

UK Reuters Article: Austria to Drop Impending Smoking Ban, Bucking Western Trend

To all our members, followers and supporters we wish you all a very happy new year!