Tuesday 28 March 2017

The March Of Progress

Thanks to @taffyjock81 on Twitter for this gem.

Back in 2015, ITV news trumpeted the launch of the first ever "quit shop" in Wales. Its unique selling point was quite interesting (emphasis mine).
Wales's first quit smoking shop has opened its doors in Cwmbran. 
It aims to help people quit smoking altogether, rather than simply switching to e-cigarettes.
With the direction of travel in the UK driving headlong towards non-medical avenues such as vaping, Stop Smoking Wales had decided to buck the trend and ignore what is quite obviously the future. All that was needed, they figured, was a shop instead of a clinic. Brilliant! Then the state-sponsored gum would fly off the shelves! Very smart it looked too!

Communities and forums would soon be created, there would be Patchfest 2015 and, most importantly, Stop Smoking Advisers would save themselves from the dole.

The problem, though - as with all public sector operations - is that they were thinking with someone else's wallet rather than their brains. It's been pretty clear for quite some time where the wise money is going.
A sharp decline in the number of smokers using an NHS support programme to help them quit has been linked to the rise in popularity of e-cigarettes.  
Nationwide figures have shown a similar trend to those in the south west of Scotland.  
In 2013, the Information Services Division reported that the number of attempts to stop smoking had fallen by 13% compared with 2012.
A businessman would conclude that throwing a bigger overhead at a decreasing client base is not a particularly good idea, but where there's a magic money tree there's a way, eh? Or maybe not.
It is a trial by Stop Smoking Wales which, if successful, could result in more 'stop shops' opening across Wales.
It doesn't look to have been that successful as a trailblazer, sadly, since it wasn't long before this scintillating idea was relegated to a trestle table in the shopping centre.

It seems that the shop has since been abandoned entirely as the silly idea that it was, and has now been replaced by something far more suited to make money from exactly the same site. I'm sure you're well ahead of me in guessing what is there now instead.

What delicious irony, huh? God Speed Infinity Mist Cwmbran, and all who sail in her. 

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