Life after Death: beat the tax man with the Siamese cigarette
Sunday 27 April 1997
B J Cunningham invented Death cigarettes and their priceless slogan "The grim reaper don't come cheaper". This time, he is presenting himself as "the smoker's friend" rather than as a grinning death's head, and he intends to fight for the legal rights of the 241.
Cunningham, who resolutely chugs his way through 40 of his own Death cigarettes a day, faces what he describes as a "mind-bendingly stupid route" through the courts. But he is determined to fight for his right to sell to his puffing pals. A spokesman for Customs said: "Mr Cunningham certainly makes our lives more interesting."
Smokers in Holland, Belgium and Luxemburg have been paying once and smoking twice courtesy of Cunningham since 1995. "The 241 is quite simply the most tax-efficient way of smoking," says Cunningham. He has some fine arguments for why the 241 is, in fact, one cigarette, the finest of which is that some smokers in Belgium smoke the 241 without breaking it, with the filter still in the middle. Very tasty.
The champion of tax-efficient tabbing is still reeling from his defeat at the hands of Customs. But he remains optimistic about the prospects for the 241. "The odds are in our favour. The 241 is, in every way, one cigarette, and the only way Customs are going to win is if they just stamp their feet and say 'That's that'."
Experience has taught the wily tab merchant a few things. He was going to call the 241 "Double Death" but recalled the storm of anger that surrounded the original arrival of packaged Death in newsagents. "We were the only thing that united the tobacco industry and the anti-smoking lobby. In the end, we had to drive the cigarettes to the shops ourselves. But I still think they are the coolest smoke." Robert Waugh
Life & Style blogs
McDonald's is finally trialling all-day breakfast
Apple expands reuse and recycle scheme, letting Android phones be swapped for iPhones
Replica Back to the Future Hoverboard released
When did the Eiffel Tower open to the public? Six things you didn't know about iconic structure
Pacman Google Maps: company offers chance to play classic arcade game on real streets
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
- 1 Britain First 'acting like Ukip henchmen' by invading meeting of activists in revenge for pub protest against Nigel Farage
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
- 4 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
- 5 A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£35000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing digital agenc...
£50000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a newly-created partne...