That little Stasi army of local government smoking cessation workers and prodnoses inspecting licenced premises for traces of tobacco, watching for half an inch of fag ash to drop on the pavement or catch a truck driver having a roll-up in his cab are all going to retire on pensions funded by .... tobacco companies.
A survey of council pension funds by the Standard found over half had substantial investments in Imperial Tobacco, BAT and Altria. The reason is simple; “Tobacco funds are recession-proof, fast cash producers and a godsend for local authorities with a pension deficit to fill. So long as you don't have a conscience about the environmental or medical impact, tobacco is a very good investment, yielding six or seven per cent compared to one, two or three per cent in a deposit account.”
The first local authority to employ staff to encourage the take-up of smoking and increase cigarette consumption will therefore help significantly to keep Council Tax low and boost the economy. You know it makes (economic) sense, and councils who continue to discourage smoking may actually be in breach of their fiduciary duties. I await the first Judicial Review with interest.