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MPs back plain cigarette packets. Smokers, get over it. Or switch to pretty e-cigs

11 March 2015 14:55

MPs are voting today in favour of the introduction of standardised cigarette packaging. There hasn’t even been a debate on the issue and the BBC thinks the result is a foregone conclusion. That’s… Continue reading


‘Smoking kills, nicotine doesn’t’: a huge boost for campaigners who say e-cigs save lives

19 February 2015 10:09

Dr Derek Yach has done more than any man alive to eradicate smoking. A former professor of global health at Yale, he developed the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, now… Continue reading

A British soldier (left) takes a smoke break on base in Sangin valley in Afghanistan's Helmand province, May 2007 (Photo: Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)

Lies, damn lies and health statistics – smoking is more deadly than serving in Afghanistan

30 October 2014 12:51

Basically nothing is as bad for you as smoking. Short of fairly obvious things like blunt-force trauma or falling out of buildings, anyway. That is a fact worth keeping in… Continue reading


The Spectator’s portrait of the week

15 October 2014 19:58

Home Checks began at British airports for passengers who might have come from west Africa with Ebola fever (even though there are no direct flights from the countries most affected).… Continue reading

England, 1929 (Photo: Getty)

Stop ‘Stoptober’: seven health benefits associated with smoking

15 October 2014 14:19

James Delingpole’s latest Spectator column laments the pernicious portmanteau afflicting this fine month: Stoptober. Geddit? That’s ‘-ober’, as in the second half of ‘October’, with the word ‘Stop’ cunningly positioned where the… Continue reading

(Photo: Joel Saget, AFP)

Ten reasons to give up smoking

8 October 2014 10:52

Earlier this year a research study revealed that people were more likely to quit smoking when confronted with the reasons why they should give up rather than being told how… Continue reading

Top US Tobacco Companies Enter E-Cigarette Market

The insidious re-normalisation of smoking

31 July 2014 18:21

The NHS has long since been smoke free, banning smoking on-site for patients and staff alike back when I was a nursing student. Of course this is ignored pretty much… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Plain packaging has backfired in Australia – don’t bring it to the UK

10 June 2014 15:14

Only one country in the world—Australia—has experimented with standardised packaging for cigarettes. Quite reasonably, people said that until hard evidence emerged from there it would be unwise for the UK… Continue reading

Caught Smoking

We get the message: smoking is bad for you. Now leave fag packets alone

3 April 2014 23:31

What form do you reckon the government’s consultation on cigarette packaging is going to take? Given that health minister Jane Ellison has said that the government’s intention is clear and… Continue reading


Smoking in cars is banned. The state’s next stop is your living room

11 February 2014 19:36

How the hell do we keep the kids quiet in the car now that we can’t subdue them with tobacco smoke? I suppose we’ll have to resort to slipping a… Continue reading

Luciana Berger could feasibly push bans on smoking in other places where children are present after last night's vote.

David Cameron has set a precedent on smoking in cars with children

11 February 2014 12:36

What next after Luciana Berger’s victory from the opposition benches on smoking in cars with children? Yesterday MPs were making all sorts of dire warnings in the House of Commons… Continue reading


MPs back smoking ban – but Justice Secretary opposes ‘unenforceable’ law

10 February 2014 21:35

So is the ban on smoking in cars with children, backed by MPs this evening by 376 votes to 107 against, a good idea? As James observed earlier, it is fascinating… Continue reading

A step too far for the nanny state?

Could smoking around children be made illegal in the near future?

10 February 2014 17:21

The most remarkable thing about the ban on smoking in cars when children are present, which will pass the Commons later today, is how quickly minds have changed. There’ll be… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Is it better to ban smoking in cars containing children than in pubs?

3 February 2014 16:39

Whenever you cross from Washington, DC into the state of Virginia, you’re met with a sign saying ‘Buckle up Virginia, it’s a law we can live with’. The sign is… Continue reading

A car is a private space. The state should not be telling people what they can and can't do in private space. (Ed Jones/AFP/GettyImages)

I’m no friend of fags. But this proposed ban on smoking in cars is perilous

29 January 2014 12:57

As a child, I was not a good traveller. The mere scent of a car interior – possibly the plastic seats, maybe the closed atmosphere, probably the whiff of petrol –… Continue reading

Caught Smoking

Ten things that went badly right in Britain in 2013

20 December 2013 14:59

This was supposed to be the year of strife, strikes, misery and more. Instead, to the surprise of Britain’s politicians, things have instead gone badly right. I look at them… Continue reading

Plans for plain packaging of cigarettes have taken a step forward today. Photo: PA.

Plain packaging of cigarettes is based on pseudoscience and speculation

28 November 2013 16:05

It has been a bad week for smokers. In yet another skirmish in the war against the vice, it was announced late last night that the British government is pressing… Continue reading

Image: Getty

PMQs sketch: Cigarettes and alcohol and Lynton Crosby

17 July 2013 16:28

Cigs and booze. These issues dominated PMQs today. Ed Miliband tried to portray the PM as a puppet of ‘Big Tobacco’ whose decision not to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes… Continue reading


The bossy state shouldn’t stop us buying cigarettes with pleasing packaging

7 March 2013 14:48

The Government’s bid to make Britain that little bit more like Australia, in a bad way, by requiring cigarettes to be sold in plain white packaging may well be announced… Continue reading

Please SIr

Let Them Eat Gruel: The Government-Health-Security Complex Invades Your Kitchen - Spectator Blogs

5 January 2013 14:11

Addressing the American people for the final time as President, Dwight Eisenhower warned that: This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the… Continue reading

Are you ready for 'Stoptober'? Image: Getty.

Fag Burns

10 September 2012 16:35

It sounds like an episode of The Thick of It: the government is ploughing ahead with its naff “Stoptober” initiative. Next month the country’s eight million smokers will be encouraged… Continue reading

Smokers Face Historic Tobacco Tax Increase

A smoke to liberty

28 June 2012 13:15

On the eve of the smoking ban five years ago, hundreds of liberty lovers came together to rebel and enjoy one last night of freedom. A reunion was held on… Continue reading


What’s Next: Plain Packaging for Booze?

27 March 2012 14:13

Hats-off to Dick Puddlecote and Chris Snowdon for being quick to notice the latest absurdity being considered by the Commons health select committee: plain packaging for alcohol. Yes, really. The… Continue reading


Yes, the NHS Must Treat Fat Folk

27 March 2012 2:08

A truly repellent piece by Cristina Odone in the Telegraph in which she argues for NHS-rationing by liefestyle and wealth. That’s not quite how she puts it, for sure, but… Continue reading


The Cost of Living Like This

21 March 2012 16:05

Brother Jones and Fraser and Pete have already given you some of the useful charts from today’s budget. But the truth of this budget can be summarised quite simply: Everyone… Continue reading