When I was in my late teens, early twenties I couldn’t help but think that there must be an age you turn, where suddenly you just go around complaining about the government and whining that they’re not doing enough.

And then one day, you wake up and you realise, actually, those oldies are right, they’re not doing enough.

This whole fiasco about the plain packaging for cigarettes is just like an annoying gatecrasher rocking up to a party, and then rather than get them to leave, asking them to stand in the corner and not bother anyone.

OK, not the most genius of analogies but the point is, why give the impression that as the government, with all the power they wield, that they don’t have the power to make a firm decision if it is true that every other shop in the street, is selling something that will potentially kill people.

So they’ve done their research, which reveals that out of all colours tested, that Olive green packaging is the least appealing to smokers?

What are we in third grade? I pathetically still smoke, but wasn’t part of the ‘least favourite colour’ survey, but as it would happen, yes I do hate the colour Olive, because it was my school uniform colour, and quite frankly, it’s put me off for life.

Will it be the reason that I stop smoking? I wouldn’t have thought so.

I applaud they barred the advertisements that I still remember from the good old 70’s, as no doubt, they were a big reason why I, and others got sucked into thinking smoking would suddenly make me a sexy, glamorous woman. And for the blokes, suddenly morph into a ruggedly handsome cowboy, perched on a horse, galloping into the sunset.

Quite amusing that we ever accepted these advertising cowboys telling us that stuffing a pack of Winnie Blues up your sleeve was going to result in a Gold Medal, yet we didn’t question it. Enough. Let’s not bother pondering Warney and his ‘No Ciggie’ vow, only to get busted with a ‘pack-o-smokes’. That was a real heroic moment!

And yes, banning the tobacco companies from advertising at sporting events was a big gutsy move, and one that hurt, not in a lung cancer sense, but it did hurt the billionaire bosses back pockets in a big way.

And let’s not be stupid enough to think that they were naive enough to take up room in those pockets by a dirty pack of gaspers.

Historically speaking, and looking back, what were we thinking even associating something that screws up your health, with the most elite sporting industries in the world? Talk about unhealthy, uneducated sheep we were.

So yes, the government has most definitely made a stand that they are aware that the link between cancer, and smoking well and truly exists. How noble and advanced they are.

In fact, no greater example of the past, and what ended up being the tragic future was my stepmother Helen. Who was the epitome of the 70’s and 80’s glamour puss?

One of my vivid memories of her when I was a child was her languishing beside the pool, in her designer bikini, her Joan Collins-esque matching white turban, and the ultimate accessory of the time (if the turban wasn’t enough), the cigarette holder.

I thought at the time, at aged six or so, that she was simply “fabuuulllllous”.

Fast forward to 1997, when I received the news that she was dying of lung cancer. Living overseas at the time, I raced home to be by my father’s side.

And in an image that trumps my 70’s impression of my stepmother, I walked into the hospital, where she laid in her bed, literally skin and bones. Her ‘fabulous’ accessories now replaced with drips and oxygen masks.

So, yes I hear you say “well isn’t that enough for you to give up Amber?” Yes, you’re right, it adds to my personal disgrace at not kicking the habit.

I do not buy this latest crap that the government wants to be seen to do something to prevent future smokers. If the drug that is tobacco is killing so many people, then ban it!

I know I’m not the only smoker that would welcome cigarettes being taken off the shelves. And I’m surely not the only person that is very suspicious of why ‘token’ attempts to save us are made, when the real rescue would be to ban them for good?

Wouldn’t you just love to know what goes on behind the scenes? And who wields the power?



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