Nick Ferrari baffled by anti-smoking watershed recommendation for films like Popeye

10 June 2022, 10:22

By Tim Dodd

Nick Ferrari was astonished at a recommendation for films and TV shows showing people smoking to be rated 18+ and shown after the watershed.

It comes as a government commissioned review has suggested the age at which people can buy cigarettes should go up by a year every year, until the point where no-one can buy them.

Ministers want England to be smoke free by 2030. The plans would create a "smokefree generation", with people under a certain age unable to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products at all.

One recommendation in the report is for films, TV shows and online media which feature tobacco imagery to be classed as 'unsuitable for viewing' by under-18s and to include an on-screen health warning. They would also be broadcast after the 9pm watershed.

Nick said: "For the love of all that's holy, Popeye the Sailor Man after 9 o'clock at night? Have we gone raving bloody mad?! It's a children's cartoon!

"He's a sailor man who has the pipe sticking out the side of his gob, and everybody has a laugh. It's the same with Columbo.

"You can have unadulterated bilge on the television, such as Love Island... I appreciate the kids don't smoke. They're wandering around, they've got virtually nothing on, you can see what they had for lunch, and nobody cares about that."

Read more: Cigarettes could become green or warn of minutes of life lost, says smoking review leader

Nick continued: "It comes back to this report. How much do they want to control our lives? Are we not allowed to make any decisions whatsoever?

"If you're 18, you're old enough to go to war, you're old enough to vote, you're old enough to buy a house, you're old enough to drink in the pub... but you can't have a cigarette."

Nick said that the "next thing they'll come for will be your homes", arguing people won't be able to smoke in their own home or back garden.

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