It is sadly an unspoken law of the world that all things must come to an end. Whether it's the cassette tape or the video shop, when the old product becomes obsolete or new tech comes along, the old has to go.
This applies to everything from the introduction of iTunes replacing the CD to Netflix and video streaming impact on the video shop. Or in the case of cigarettes, the e-cigarette.
For those still hanging on to cigarettes there is yet another piece of evidence that the days of the cigarette is coming to an end. That evidence comes in the form of the new smoking laws which come into effect imminently.
The new laws will make the cost of cigarettes dramatically more expensive, the packaging less attractive and even ban popular flavours like menthol.
The new EU Tobacco Products Directive laws come into effect on the 21st of May, so read on to see how it will affect you.
THE NEW LAW
The new smoking law was introduced in May 2016 and gave the cigarette industry and retailers a year to implement all changes.
The first thing to go will be the 10 packs of cigarettes and small pouches of tobacco. The smallest pack you will be able to get will contain 20 cigarettes or a 30g pouch of tobacco. The minimum price for a pack will now be £8.82 and premium brands will now cost up to £10.50!
For someone who smokes a pack a day then you be will spending over £3219 a year. But if you smoke the premium brands, get ready to shell out over £3832 of your hard-earned cash!
All flavoured cigarettes will be banned too, that means no more vanilla, spice or sweet flavoured cigarettes at all.
Menthol is included in the flavour list as well and will be phased out by 2020.
The last change will be to packaging, with 65% of all cigarette packaging to be graphic images and health warnings. As for the other 35% the design has to be plain, just the name of the brand.
It is one of the biggest anti-smoking laws produced, with some calling it the beginning of the end for cigarettes.
TARGETING THE UNDER 18'S
These new laws are to reduce the number of people who smoke, for obvious reasons. The number of smokers has been declining over the last few decades but 1 out of every 5 people in the UK still smoke. Dealing with the treatment of smoking-related disease from cigarettes currently costs the NHS over £2.7 billion a year.
Stopping the sale of smaller pouches of tobacco (anything below 30g) and the sale of 10 packs of cigarettes probably won't stop long term smokers, but the law wasn't specifically targeting them, it was designed to deter teenagers from taking up the habit in the first place.
Although buying cigarettes for under 18's is illegal, two thirds of all smokers start before they are 18, and carry the habit for years afterwards. By raising the price for a pack of cigarettes the law is trying to stop teenagers from starting.
By making the cheapest cigarettes £8.82 the law is hoping to make it completely unaffordable for those young smokers who are just starting or are only casual smokers, before they become addicted.
For decades the big tobacco companies spent billions on making smoking sexy! From TV and ads in glossy magazines to sponsoring the biggest sporting events, big tobacco built their fortunes by replacing the danger of smoking with the promises of “living the beautiful lifestyle”.
However, the implementation of the plain packaging, graphic images and predominant health warnings aim to stop this. The lawmakers hope to illustrate the true impact smoking can have on your life.
Plain packaging on cigarette packaging was first introduced in Australia in 2012 and was shown to help "increase the impact of health warnings, reduce false and misleading messages that one type of cigarette is less harmful than another, and reduce the attractiveness of smoking to young people."
The health warnings will be much more visible now as well, with images designed to be as shocking as possible. That is why more picture based warnings will be put onto cigarette packets, as they have been shown to catch and hold people's attention.
The tobacco industry tried their hardest to stop this as well, trying anything they could think of to stop it. They even went as far as filling lawsuits against the Health Secretary! These lawsuits were fortunately thrown-out by the Supreme Court.
They say a picture tells a thousand words. If that's the case the following video that compares a healthy lung and a smokers’ lung will leave you speechless!
(Warning, it is not pleasant)
Like the cassette tape when the CD showed up, these laws coupled with the introduction and wide-spread popularity of e-cigarettes will be the death knell for cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are much easier to use, provide the same nicotine without the 4,000 chemicals and 50 known carcinogens and tend to be much cheaper than cigarettes.
And the experts agree, with Public Health England recently stating that “e-cigarettes are at least 95% less harmful then cigarettes”.
E-cigarettes have already helped millions make the switch to a healthier life, at a fraction of the price.
So if you are a smoker and are going to be affected by the new laws, why not try SMOKO?