The thing is like this: a cylinder, maybe eight centimetres long, just under a centimetre diameter, white for most of its length, a little bit of brown at one end. Sounds pretty cool, yes? You have seen NOTHING yet.
In order to use the thing, you must set one end of it on fire. Fire is cool. Everyone knows that. Then, you place the non-firey end IN YOUR MOUTH and suck.
The result is a mouth full of smoke. You know. Smoke. That thing which in fire safety videos they make a big point of telling you how dead it makes you? Yes. That. In your mouth, and lungs. Yummy.
There's nothing really good in the smoke either, the main effect of the smoke is to make you want more of the smoke.
From my description, do you want one?
Of course you don't. You're not an idiot, are you? No. It sounds shit. It sounds like I'm trying to give you fiery, smoky, make you dead things.
Thing is, according to the snazzy infographic dealy below, 340,000 children in the UK will take their first taste of smoke every year. Now, I know, children ARE quite stupid, not like you, you're clever. But surely they're savvy enough to think that maybe, just maybe, inhaling the byproduct of fire into your mouth might be a touch on the silly side. So what's the dealio?
It's probably a bunch of things. Peer pressure's likely to be a big'un. Parents who smoke, that's probably up there too. But as well as those, there's marketing.
The same people who persuade ten year old kids that they ABSOLUTELY MUST own every single item of Pokemon related paraphernalia ever to be spewed forth from a Chinese factory are also responsible for glamming up the fiery, smoky, make you dead things (I'll start calling them cigarettes now, it's easier).
We really, really ought to be doing everything we can to make cigarettes look as shitty and unappealing as possible to children (and, really, everyone else). One way we can do this is by making cigarette manufacturers have to use plain packaging.
Kids like things which are cool. Plain brown things aren't cool, apparently. The Smokefree South West campaign wants all cigarettes to be sold in plain packaging, because then kids won't think they're cool. They'll go out on their Microscooters instead. They're not cool either, but they come in nice packaging. See? See how it works?
Look at the snazzy infographic. Join the campaign. Go on, it's dead easy and will help less children put that first cigarette to their lips. You can do that for me, can't you?
Protect our children. Visit the Plain Packaging Campaign for more information and to pledge your support.