Culture Magazine

Smoke Machines

By Carolineld @carolineld
Smoke machines
With plain packaging, screened-off displays, and age limits, cigarettes are not as visible or easy to buy as they once were. Indeed, it's easy to forget that you used to be able to get them 24 hours a day from readily-accessible vending machines. However, a few are still around to remind us of simpler, unhealthier times. 
Smoke machines
Right outside the station and highly-rated on Tripadvisor, the Bridge Coffee Shop once also offered cigarettes from its shiny vending machine. It's now empty, the Player's advert has faded, and even if you were tempted to use the coin slot, no price is shown.
Smoke machines
The sale of cigarettes from vending machines began in the 1920s but was banned in 2011. However, judging by the prices on display, the Stoke-on-Trent example had ceased trading much earlier. While machines dispensed as few as 16 cigarettes in a packet, to keep prices stable and in round numbers, it is a very long time since they would have been 30p. In fact, the early 1970s seems likely, making this machine a real survivor.
Smoke machines

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