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By David Vance On March 9th, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I don’t smoke. I have never smoked. Like many others, I find the smell of tobacco unpleasant. But I also advocate liberty and the latest wheeze from the Coalition to ban tobacco displays in shops smacks of hypocrisy.

Tobacco displays in shops will be banned in England as part of a package of measures to discourage smoking. Instead, cigarettes and other products will have to be kept under-the-counter from 2012 for large stores and 2015 for small shops, ministers have announced. A consultation will also be launched on whether manufacturers should be forced to put cigarettes into plain packets.

The problem seems to be that a significant number of young people insist on smoking. So, here’s a thought. Put the object of their desire in a hidden box, wrap it in plain paper, and tell them they should not pursue the use of it. What do you think the effect of that will be? Increased allure = increased consumption. If the Nanny State is so keen to stop people smoking, why not just ban it? MMmm…I suppose all that lost duty would be a slight consideration.