First, forget about warning them of the HEALTH risks – when people are kids, they think themselves IMMORTAL. No, tell them the TRUTH; they are being RIPPED OFF.
Explain that a packet of fags only costs THIRTY PENCE to manufacture. Then, when they ask how come they cost SIX POUNDS to BUY – tell them THIS.
NOTHING is spent on advertising – fag ads have been illegal in the UK for years now. Thus after allowing for the normal manufacturers’ profit, ditto the retailers’ – plus shipping – a pack of fags OUGHT to cost no more than NINETY PENCE. That’s just FIFTEEN PERCENT of the money they have to part with.
Of the remaining EIGHTY-FIVE PERCENT, some goes to the corporation, who manufacture their products in a way that makes them as ADDICTIVE as possible – while the rest goes straight to the GOVERNMENT.
Point out that at least the greedy corporations are HONEST in their greed. The government on the other hand, are the biggest HYPOCRITES on earth. While bringing in ever more laws to ensure that smokers are the ONE minority who are segregated and abused in a fashion which, if such treatment were visited on any OTHER minority, would have them rioting in the streets – the government appeals to people to QUIT. But if everyone actually DID that, Britain’s fast-dwindling economy would COLLAPSE OVERNIGHT. THAT’S hypocrisy.
Finally, you might mention the fact that while the RIP-OFF might seem a small price to pay NOW, to look COOL – when they become ADULTS (as they surely must) they will find that giving the government HALF their wages (assuming they can FIND a job) in cigarette tax will result in their WHOLE LIVES being financially BLIGHTED. FORGET about holidays – even having KIDS.
And if they come back with, “Oh, I’ll give UP by then,” get them to talk to those who HAVE. Ask how easy it was for THEM – and how much they would give to have a blow RIGHT NOW!