Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Understanding the business of selling tobacco

Who knows more about selling tobacco. These people?

Or these people?

My vote goes to the former crowd. They sell tobacco, alongside other consumer commodities. They buy it every few days and sell it every day. The survival of their livelihoods depends on understanding the market environment, in tobacco and whatever else they sell.

They also believe in upholding the law around purchasing age. They make use of No ID No Sale (devised by the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association), a campaign designed to encourage age verification at the point of sale.

What about the British Heart Foundation? On the face of it they are an organisation designed to make the public aware of heart health. Nothing wrong with that. In this instance however they are using charitable donations to promote the tobacco display ban, which is a real waste of money when their expertise is not in the tobacco trade. Considering that many people who are in the tobacco trade consider that the display ban will make bootleggers stronger and sales to young people harder to control, they are using public funds to back a loser. And they claim (either in naive ignorance or untruthfully) that only the tobacco industry disagrees with their approach to the tobacco trade. In an era where universal benefits are about to be sacrificed on the altar of cost efficiency, just how stupid is this?

No doubt the British Heart Foundation works very hard to maintain its revenue stream, which is substantial (its Annual report is downloadable here). Their survival depends on successful fundraising (and significantly, legacy fundraising), running profitable second-hand shops and canny investments.

But it relies on naive arguments for its tobacco policies. There is no evidence that the display ban will work (I know I linked to this piece already but really, what are these people doing passing laws without knowing they will make any difference?)


Smoking Hot said...

When they raise the age from 16 to 18 they created in one pen stroke a whole new set of 'criminals'. The 16yr olds that smoked suddenly found that they legally could not purchase cigarettes so they had to become criminals in order to continue smoking.

Man with van man is classed as a criminal so he ended up with most of these 16yr olds ... birds of a feather and all that.

Now when these 16yr olds became 18 did they go back to the shops and pay 50% more? l'd be very surprised if they did. So now you have another set of smokers who are totally off the radar for the smoking stats and will remain so.

lt's as though all these anti-smokers have shares in man in a vans business .... and they wonder why it continues to grow?

Unknown said...

SH I went to my 'local' which is a short bus ride away to meet up with the van man and purchased three 50gm packs of Golden Viginia at £7 a pouch. He was sat playing dominos with his mates and could have passed as your average grandad. Hard as I try I can't see him as a Chicago type crime lord. I now know that he comes into the pub every Tuesday and Saturday so I will have a constant supply of tobacco :¬) (a few yards away Sainsbury's are selling GV at around £13 for a 50gm pouch...no contest!

You are right, governments, no matter their colour, like criminalising people whilst complaining that our prisons are over populated...go figure eh.

As an asides I had a lovely day yesterday until near the end. At a well known beauty spot me, Mrs Yin and the bro in law, who is a non smoker, were refused service while we sat OUTSIDE and ordered fish and chips. We were refused because I was smoking and the guy told me it was company policy that there was no smoking ANYWERE on their premises, even outside.

I am thinking of writing a blog about it but there is far too many swearwords in it that I think it's unprintable.

I'm still reeling from the experience. I now know how a black person, homosexual, Jew ectra feels when they were turned away like this in the past. Because of my assocciation with F2C and the knowledge I have had over the last three years I am a bit surprised that this episode jarred so much.

I was half expecting to see a sign up saying No Jews, Irish or blacks welcome in this establishment!

BTW I took my ecig with me so that me and the mrs could sit inside away from the dirty, smelly road with it's petrol and diesel fumes belching out only a couple of feet away from the benches outside for smokers. Also the corner were the unforgiving benches are is drafty, not a good experience to sit there just so you can smoke.

Belinda said...

You could be right about this SH. I work in a shop and intend to make a mental note of how many purchasers of cigs are in the 18-20 age range. My instinct is that there are hardly any.

TBY: what's the world coming to indeed. I look forward to your blog piece when you feel composed enough to write it.

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