Self extinguishing cigarettes that go out in 60 seconds if they are not smoked will become compulsory across Europe within three years. A new EU ruling will force tobacco companies to use fire retardant paper in all cigarettes by 2011 in a bid to cut down the number of fatal fires caused by smoking. The paper is already used in Australia and the US.
However it is Gordon Brown's controversial plan to introduce a self drinking pint that has caused outrage amongst both Publicans and Alcohol awareness groups throughout Britain.
Derek Palmer chief executive of Alcohol Concern UK said yesterday : "The government plans to introduce a pint glass that empties itself if it has not been used for over two minutes. This would only encourage pub goers to drink more quickly and consequently increase the amount of problem drinkers throughout the UK. At a time when there is already great public concern over the effects of binge drinking this policy is totally irresponsible. It is yet another attempt to raise income via indirect taxation. Once again this government has proved itself to be morally bankrupt".
In response, a government spokesman said that the idea behind the introduction of a self drinking pint was to promote family life within the UK. Speaking to our home affairs correspondent he said : "Many drinkers spend hours and hours in the pub talking nonsense when they should be with their families. It is hoped that this new measure will encourage people to spend less time away from the home and more time with their children. The scheme has been piloted in Glasgow, Leeds and Portsmouth and I believe the results were favourable."
However David Brennan, 39 from Ridley Road, Southsea disagrees. "The introduction of the self drinking pint in Portsmouth was a complete and utter disaster. For a start the government did not inform us about the change. People were putting down their drinks to go outside to puff on their self extinguishing cigarettes, coming back and finding their pints empty. It doesn't take much for a fight to break out down here. For two weeks it was like the wild west. It just wasn't safe to leave the house let alone go into a pub. Twenty five deaths in ten days, that's unusual even for Portsmouth. The landlord at the Rose and Crown in Havant was eaten for fuckssake and that hasn't happened around here for years"
If the Bill goes through Parliament next week it is likely to become Law by 2010. Opponents of the scheme are being encouraged to sign an online petition at: www.free2getshitfaced.web