Friday, March 05, 2010

All Smoke And No Fire: In the past we had synthetic cigarettes - they failed miserably because they were the same price as the real thing; but the real thing was and always will be better.
Then they gave us electronic cigarettes - which gave off harmless smoke to everyone in the room, the smoker enjoyed them (?), but the real thing was better.
Now, according to a feature in our local Bournemouth Daily Echo, smokeless cigarettes are the latest trendy "give up the dreaded weed" come-hither.
The Page 7 headline in Tuesday's edition read "Will The Smokeless Cigarette Stop Our Pubs From Closing Down?" and are, apparently, "the invention pubs and restaurants have been dreaming of." They are called Similars, (I bet they had a 3 weeks of intensive executive brainstorming to come up with that one!), and a quote read - "I transferred without a hitch, having been a conventional smoker for years. It feels and tastes like the real thing."
But the problem is, once again, the price!
When I buy my Daily Echo at our village Co-Op / Post Office every day, I look at the fags and the prices; and see Marlboro at almost £7 for 20.
Similars are £6 for 10 - yes that's SIX QUID for TEN!
So smokers are hardly going to be rushing to the shops and beating their fellow smokers off with a stick to buy a packet, are they.
How ridiculous.
What a waste of time developing such a product.
Even if the retail price was 50 pence for 10 smokers would still want their "old faithfuls," because everything else is not good old Nic O-Tine; and anything Similar just doesn't hold a candle to the real deal.
Of course, I am speaking as an ex-smoker who gave up after a (hereditry) heart op, but I sympathise nevertheless, and these fags, which ought to be called The Great Pretender, will no doubt be boycotted just like the other pretenders in the past.
So the answer is a resounding No, Similar's will not be the answer to the decline of pubs and restaurants.
Similar's are being launched at the town's BIC in two weeks time, and I bet there won't be a crowd elbowing one another out of the way to be the first customer.
It would be far easier if certain pubs and restaurants were designated for smokers, and others not, and then everyone would be happy.
And which proved to be the more popular, would be interesting.