Packets Of 10 Cigarettes
Sir, - If I buy two half-pints of beer, it will cost me a lot more than one pint, because the size of a glass of beer has little bearing on the cost of serving it. This pattern is repeated for most consumer products, except one. Ten cigarettes cost exactly half the price of 20.
Research indicates that smokers who start as adults are more likely to give up, and to find it easy to do so. Lifelong smokers start as children. Many children cannot afford 20 cigarettes, but they can club together with a few friends to buy 10. Cigarette companies oblige by making their fun-size packets as cheap as possible.
For every 100 children who start smoking, 24 will be killed by the habit. In the budget, Charlie McCreevey should tax kids' cigarettes out of existence. - Yours, etc., William Campbell,
Haroldville Avenue, Dublin 8.