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Wednesday 11 April 2012

Way Back in 1990

Finding Cigarettes In The Soviet Union: It`s A Real Drag 
July 28, 1990 | By James Yuenger, Chicago Tribune.

MOSCOW - A cigarette shortage is giving the Soviet Union a collective nicotine fit.

The shortage is serious business in a country where an anti-smoking crusade has largely fizzled, smoking restrictions in restaurants often are ignored and health warning labels were added to cigarette packages only a couple of years ago.

So acute is the situation in the city of Perm, in the Urals, that purveyors last week began marketing packets of tobacco dust that had been used earlier against garden pests.

That triggered a demonstration Thursday by a tobacco-starved crowd of people who lay across streetcar tracks, disrupting traffic, before moving on to register their protest at City Hall. Chronicling these events in the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, a writer indignantly puffed:

``There are too many explanations, as always. But if our criminal code provides serious punishment for personal insults, who will punish this continuing insult to an entire nation?``

Adding injury to insult, prices have soared.

Read the rest of the article here.  And I wonder, could something like this ever happen in the UK?  If the antis get their way with plain packs, banning smoking in cars and homes, it could be worse.  Much worse.

It's the easiest thing in the world to counterfeit cigarettes after all.