Some time ago, there was this episode on "How I Met Your Mother" in which all the characters were trying to quit smoking. Watching that episode (and comparing it with some much older movies/literature) it finally hit me how people's opinion on smoking and smokers have changed. What used to be normal way back is now viewed with some disdain.
How else do you explain smokers being given a smoking bay where so many of them sit in cramped up spaces to get their fix AND inhale secondary smoke from their fellow smokers, or even while I was in Japan, where it seemed as though everyone smoked, they were forced to smoke in small groups at little ashtrays by the kerb - hardly a sociable activity, or in some areas, they stood in alleyways behind tall buildings in their nice clothes, smoking mournfully in the cold.
The other day, the papers had a piece on new rules for cigarette manufacturers in terms of packaging size and pricing (among the methods employed to reduce young people from starting to smoke since they could never afford such an expensive hobby to start with) I've attached a screen-shot of the news below.
|Click to enlarge|
The thing is, while what the government is trying to do to protect the people from the dangers of smoking, little do they know that there are ways employed to manoeuvre around this minimum 20 sticks rule. Well, maybe they do, but they have probably decided to overlook it until someone brings it up.
I've actually even witnessed this (ahem!) clever act by 2 separate entities. One was a few years ago at the canteen in my workplace where the canteen operator *sold individual sticks all the time to the guys at work, and the second time was just about 2 weeks ago while I was lining up to pay for my food at a nearby Mamak where one of the customers in front of me bought an individual stick from the cashier. So, if the young people the government is trying to protect can't afford 20 sticks in one go, who is to say they can't afford a single stick from a packet opened by some devious business people?
*This might be illegal (it is in the US, but I can't find info about Malaysia)