How to really get people to quit smoking…

I write a lot of story idea’s here, and as I doubt that this is the type of policy that would never see the light of day I’m going to file this under story ideas, as it would provide some interesting colour to a dydtopian/utopian science fiction/alternate present story…

I just had an idea that would probably never work or be implemented but could stop people from smoking. I’d like to point out at the start that I am not and never have been a smoker.

At the moment the way I see it the government applies a tax on every packet of cigarettes that you buy, I don’t know the rate of tax I don’t care to be honest, but supposedly that tax is in part supposed to artificially inflate the price of cigarettes to the point that people are less likely to buy, in the mean time it raises money for the government to spend on missiles… Sorry the NHS…

My proposal is to remove that tax completely, but instead make purchasing cigarettes something you need a license to do, applying for a license costs say £100. When you go to the shops to buy your cigarettes you have to not only show your licence but also swipe it so that there is a record of the purchase. At the end of the year you get a bill for your cigarette licence which is adjusted for every cigarettes you’ve bought.

The license would stop under-agers from buying cigarettes, because they wouldn’t be granted a licence, it would also make it impossible for people who didn’t smoke to buy cigarettes for people who did.

The other advantage of this plan is that being hit with a big one off bill is a lot scarier that whittling away at your money with a tax you barely notice.

I’m normally against the government, or any other body for that matter collecting and storing information about me, but in this case I think that since you are doing something which has been proven to damage your body I think that how much you smoke should be recorded in your NHS records, it should also be given to health/life insurance providers so that they can raise your premiums…

This is all hypothetical, I’m aware that you could replace “Cigarettes” with unhealthy food, or alcohol, but this isn’t a blog post about making people have healthier diets or stopping people from drinking, it’s about smoking…

If you did hypothetically want  to extend this to food, you could give people credits whenever they ate healthily, if you ate nothing but salads and fruit all year maybe the government would actually owe you money…

I’m not sure how you’d modify this for drink, I’m not sure I want to broach that topic, I don’t drink but I know far to many people who do and I don’t want to be lynched by my drunken friends…