Man arrested for offering his friend a cigarette:
With the introduction of the Suicide Act 1961, which de-criminalized the act of suicide, laws regarding assisting someone's in their own suicide were clarified:
"A person who aids, abets, counsels or procures the suicide of another, or an attempt by another to commit suicide, shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years." – Suicide Act 1961
This legislation has been used by police authorities in Manchester to push home the new anti-smoking laws in their area. The Chief Inspector of Manchester Metropolitan explains:
"As cigarettes are more likely to kill you than the normal suicide attempts such as throwing yourself off a bridge or taking too many pills, the foundation for our actions are not as shaky as the media are making out. Statistically speaking, encouraging someone to smoke is more likely to result in their death than handing them a length of rope."
Solicitors for Charles Darling, who was arrested for offering his friend a cigarette outside a pub, spoke out publicly against what they consider to be an abuse of new anti-smoking legislation:
"The charges against our client have been dismissed, naturally, and we will be seeking compensation from the Manchester Met for this harassment. Suicide relates to the wish to die quickly. Smokers do not expect to die within a matter of hours after lighting up, therefore their actions cannot be considered a suicide attempt."
Disclaimer: This article is completely false ... except for the parts that are true, but, probably just like the people involved, I can't remember which parts those are, if any, so best to just take the whole thing as nonsense. †