Saturday, 10 December 2011

Counterfeit Reality


Saw an item on the local news the other night about the sale of counterfeit tobacco. Can there be such a thing? If it ain't tobacco then what is it? Lettuce? As if a smoker couldn't tell the difference. What they probably mean is counterfeit brands of tobacco - fake Rothmans and the like, but still made of baccy. The correct term should be illegal tobacco.

The push against such cigarettes is being made on health grounds. Eh? The bloody things kill you anyway, so how is a packet of fags with a fake label going to make it any worse?

A doctor was interviewed and said that much of this counterfeit tobacco came from Africa and was stored in warehouses, such warehouses having rats, which means the liberal application of rat poison that could get into the product. Well hang on, Zimbabwe is something like the word's 5th largest producer of tobacco - that surely means that all its tobacco is laced with rat poison, no matter where it goes - genuine or fake products.

China and India are No.1 and No.2 in terms of production; are we meant to believe there are no rats in China or India?

Additionally, makers of 'fake' products aren't going to go to the trouble of filling them with the 70 odd chemicals Imperial Tobacco put in their products to make them burn better; it would simply cost too much. In all likelihood they're more pure than the 'genuine' article - possibly even 'organic'.

I somehow suspect this is really to do with lost tax revenue and nothing whatsoever to do with the health benefits of genuine fags versus their fake counterparts. The authorities must think we have the intelligence of a root vegetable.


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