​Thinking of giving up smoking? Let me direct you to the nearest packet of cigarettes.

The latest health brainwave from our government is to include an information leaflet in the fag box giving advice on how to quit the very product you’ve just bought.

It’s a bit like putting safe drinking advice printed at the bottom of a pint glass.

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Each attempt to get people to quit smoking over the years just seems to get weaker. The straight ‘smoking kills’ printed on every box should really have been enough.

After people kept on buying the cancer sticks, they thought: ‘Well maybe not all smokers can read.’ So they covered boxes in hideous photographs of cancerous growths caused by smoking. But still they come…

‘Maybe they're attracted to the pretty coloured boxes!’ came the cry. The result was to insist that all packets be produced in Pantone 448 C, a colour considered to be the ugliest in the world. A sludgy olive goo with a hint of dysentery stain (in a Farrow and Ball wallpaper colour chart it’s probably called Emerald Camel’s Breath Green).

The result of dull coloured boxes was no significant reduction in sales but a nightmare for short-sighted corner shop staff trying to locate a customer’s favourite brand of death stick.

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This ‘how to give up’ leaflet in packets is the lamest idea of all.

They should be thinking outside the box. Look at the cigarettes themselves. Sleek white glow in the dark wands wafting pale blue clouds of smoke into the ether. Beautiful and cool. Why not make cigarettes kangaroo-shaped? Nothing cool about sucking from a kangaroo tail.

If that’s too complicated, make the cigarettes L-shaped. Remove the cool. Even the packet colour, if applied correctly, could be used to curb sales. Make all cigarettes sold in Newcastle come in red and white striped boxes. In Sunderland, make them black and white. Repeat across all football rivalries in the land.

And on the cigarette itself, replace the filter with a mini kazoo. Not only makes the smoker look and sound silly, but acts as an early warning signal for those fearing passive smoke inhalation. C’mon readers, send me your ideas and we can stub out smoking for good.

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