Natalie Haynes: Olive green is too tasteful – how about mustard yellow, or Piers Morgan on cigarette packs?

 

Share
Related Topics

The disappearance of cigarettes from the public sphere is one of the most impressive conjuring tricks of modern times. A few weeks ago, I went to see a film set in the 1970s, and was amazed to see how strange it looked to see someone smoking indoors. And not just indoors, in a hospital. The children sitting behind me were audibly astonished that such a ludicrous thing had ever happened.

I had to remind myself that people still smoked indoors until five years ago, because in my mind it belongs to another era completely. And now the Government has announced an extension to the consultation period on replacing cigarette packaging with plain olive-green boxes. Packs of cigarettes may soon disappear from view as completely as if they had been smoked into nothingness.

Apparently, there is such strong public interest in the matter that more time was needed for people to respond. I'm slightly perplexed by this because how much time can we need to express our feelings on a binary issue? Should cigarette packs change to be plain green? The longest possible answer to that question is one syllable.

The real question is why the Government isn't suggesting something more radical. Olive green is not a horrible colour. It's a nice colour. It reminds us of olives, which are tasty. If Andrew Lansley were truly committed to ensuring, as he has said, that tobacco companies have no business in the UK, he might need to come up with something more off-putting than green. If you're trying to dissuade people who are prepared to stain their hands yellow for a cigarette, green cardboard probably won't be a deal-breaker.

So perhaps this is what we could do with the extra consultation time: come up with uglier packaging ideas for cigarettes. I have a particular dislike of the mustard colour of Captain Kirk's uniform – how about that? With a line of neon-pink piping round the outside for maximum queasiness?

Other options might include covering the packs with the words "I love..." and then pictures of internationally risible public figures. If you had to get Piers Morgan out of your pocket every time you needed a fix, surely nicotine withdrawal would soon seem like a small price to pay.

www.nataliehaynes.com

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah ibn Abd al-Aziz Al Saud back in 2010  

The media cannot ignore tricky questions when someone dies. But it must stick to the facts

Will Gore
SEEN graffiti Wonder Woman  

Warner Bros’ bold stance on Wonder Woman opens the door for Hollywood evolution

Matthew James
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us