In a sudden U-turn the Government is attempting to boost smoking in the UK by offering free time off work while you try to quit. The Minister for Health expects the new incentive to encourage at least 100 million new smokers within the next 12 months. The new smokers will then be entitled to paid time off while they try to quit their newly acquired habit.
The surprise move follows a recent Mori poll which revealed that 99.9 % of UK smokers intended to stop smoking on May 1st when smoking will be banned in all public and private places in the country.
A Government spokesman today denied that the U-turn was influenced by the poll which suggests that the Government will go bankrupt within 4 days following the smoking ban, due to the complete lack of revenue being raked in from Britain's smokers.
"Absolutely not," declared Tony Blair during Prime Ministers Question Time, "We still have plenty of money coming in from dodgy arms deals, cash for honours and of course oil from tiny unprotected countries."
The government has today issued a statement that all smokers trying to quit will be required to attend compulsory sex, massage and drinking sessions in work time, fully paid, to give them the "best chance" of quitting.
One smoker declared today "It will be easier to do crack cocaine than smoke after May 1st, I had intended on giving up completely but the new incentive has spurred me on and I will drag it out now for the paid time off. Then I will start doing crack."