I HAVE never been a smoker. I may have tried it a few times at university but I didn’t keep doing in, much like watching subtitled films and eating Pot Noodle.

My mum used to smoke and I have a feeling the health costs caught up with her towards the end, which has left me sure that it is a bad habit. In general when someone comes up with a plan to get people to stop smoking I am in favour, but there’s a new plan that I am less sure about.

Tory Lord George Young wants to introduce a private members bill to put health warnings on every cigarette, not just the packets. Allow me to go through the reasons I think this is pointless.

Everyone already knows that smoking is bad for you. If you stopped smokers in the street, or more likely stood outside a pub in the street, you wouldn’t find anyone who hadn’t at least heard a rumour. No one is going to read the side of their cigarette and shout: “Why didn’t someone mention this?”

If someone has read that smoking kills on the packet I don’t think they will have forgotten by the time they light up. I know smoking is bad for many health conditions but I don’t think it kills your short-term memory off that much.

Maybe I am getting old but I wouldn’t be able to read the writing on anything sticking out of my mouth. Good luck trying to get smokers to always wear their reading glasses.

People will get used to any warnings. I was queuing behind a woman in a petrol garage last week. When she was handed her cigarettes she looked at them and said to the cashier: “Oh, that’s a nice picture on this one.” I don’t know if you had the lungs, the liver or the toe picture but it didn’t faze her.

The act of burning the warning written on the side of the cigarette will become symbolic and may make smokers more resolved to carry on. It’s similar to the Friends episode where they burn items from their ex-boyfriends.

When you smoke you breathe in a range of nasty chemicals and the idea of added whatever compounds are created when ink burns feels like it is a step in the wrong direction.

We’d be better off making one in every 1,000 cigarettes an exploding joke cigarette like you’d see in Tom and Jerry cartoons. Or print tweets by Ollie Robinson on the side of cigarettes. No one would want to be seen with those if they wanted to keep their job.