Professor Julian Le Grand, chairman of Health England, said more people might stop smoking if they had to "opt in" by applying for an annual permit and paying a £10 fee. "Some 70% of smokers actually want to stop smoking. So if you just make it that little bit more difficult for them to actually re-start or even to start in the first place, yes I think it will make a big difference," he told BBC Radio 5 Live. He said some people would be deterred from smoking if they had to make the effort to fill in a complicated form, get a photograph taken and pay a charge.While I can see that would piss a lot of people off, I actually think this idea has some merit. More important than making people choose to continue to smoke, it might actually have a greater deterrent effect for the recovering smoker. It would make that first pack on the way to permanent backsliding all the more difficult.
I only question whether the £10 would actually cover administration costs.