Trade routes through smoke filled rooms
This article left me with the impression that it is getting harder for children to buy and therefore smoke cigarettes.
In the city where I live, there seem to be more children and young adults smoking cigarettes than there were this time last last year.
I assume there is now a well developed black market for buying cigarettes. If that sounds cynical, then ask yourself what a cigarette company would do when faced with advertising restrictions. Would they put they feet up and sigh and contemplate halcyon days, or would they get busy developing new distribution and marketing routes / means?
Many smokers buy cigarettes duty-free in bulk or buy them from people who import them by means of an undeclared business.
When people buy cigarettes in bulk, it is less likely that the odd missing packet (or three) will be noticed as missing.
It only takes one child in a class of kids whose parents smoke heavily and who turn a blind eye to the regular disapperance of some of their packets of cigarettes. There is also no shortage of children who are given 'guilt money' by parents. Buying a packet of cigarettes is easy for a child who wanders around with 30 quid or more in their pocket.
And what of the high-tech vending machines? A clear conscience for the tobacco companies? No trouble from politicians? A smoke-screen [sic] for society who will see the machines and then not even wonder at the increase in the young smoking population?
This is not a rant though... and time will tell if I was right. Look for an increase in the number of young smokers, or a change to the way official statistics are processed.