The National Audit Office has today published grim statistics confirming that life expectancy is lowest in the most deprived areas of the UK.
The report has found that the average man will DEFINITELY die at 75.8 years old with women faring little better at 126.2.
Dorset resident Wilfred Montague Fortescue Smyth was horrified. "The future looks bleak. I'm 75.7 years old now which means I only have point one of a year left. I wish I'd have smoked more fags, drank more Special Brew and ate stodgy Northern food now" he reflected sadly.
However, Smoking Cessation Tsar, Carol Ashburner, reacted angrily to the inference that smoking does you no harm. She argued "Smoking IS bad for you. Period. Historically, we have adopted a softly sofly approach to smokers. We co-erced them out of offices, off our planes, out of restaurants, pubs and Gala Bingo. But we are finding that people who would once smoke in the bingo halls are now staying at home, craftily puffing away and playing Foxy Bingo online."
She continued "Lessons must be learnt. The current policy to discourage smokers has clearly not worked so I would like to see a more targeted stringent approach". Outlining a raft of radical new measures she said "It's all about re-educating people and raising awareness. A battle for hearts and minds if you like. And lungs I suppose" she added.
Ex 60 a day smoker Ashburner said "I want to see teams of plain clothed support workers in our communities, confiscating smoking paraphernalia to encourage people to quit. I firmly believe this stepped method will work"
The effects of this remain to be seen. However, we have learnt that water cannons on our streets, to extinguish would be smokers' cigarettes, has not been ruled out.
Another controversial measure is to douse false beards in a flammable petrol based solvent. Offenders will be 'tagged' with the beard, a potential fireball, thus providing a dis-incentive to light up.
A senior Government source has welcomed the changes. She said "We want to keep people alive as long as possible and this ties in with our policy of retirement at 100 years old. A person dying at 75.8 years is bad for the economy, bad for deficit reduction. Just bad. This equates to 24.2 years lost work and productivity.
"Of course, the Government recognizes not everybody will be in good enough health to work until 100. That's why we are working closely with our partners, Dignitash to liquidate such individuals" she concluded.