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Posts Tagged ‘cigarettes’

Mad Men Rejoice: Plain Packaging For Cigarettes Will Increase Branding

smoking is good for you



AS you’ll know there’s a move to get to the plain packaging of cigarettes. This is the rather strange idea that if we can’t associate red with Marlboro and white with Silk Cut then we’ll smoke fewer cigarettes overall. Quite why is never really explained but we are assured that it will be true.

There’s something of a problem with the idea though. Which is that abolishing branding for legal cigarettes will probably lead to more branding by illegal ones. The reason is that a brand is an identification: it tells people something about the quality, and consistency of whatever the brand is associated with.

So prevalent have some lines of Cheap Whites become in parts of the UK where the majority of cigarette sales are now non-dutied through boot sales and under-counter trades that they are establishing brand loyalties; people like cigarette characteristics they are used to, in terms of taste, strength, throat-feel, acridity and so on, and when they find an illegal brand that mimics, say, Superkings will stick with it.

Which offers the intriguing possibility that with the government’s moves to introduce plain packaging for the legitimate TMA members already feeling the pinch, it’s unlikely the Cheap Whites will follow step; if anything, they will surely tend to improve their pack image.

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Posted: 4th, April 2014 | In: Money, Reviews, The Consumer | Comment

Sex Sells Tobacco: 10 “Smoking Hot” Vintage Adverts

THE STORY of tobacco in advertising is a long and winding tale.  At some points it has targeted children, at others it has tried to sound like a health food.  The specter of cancer has loomed over the product for decades, and advertisers have done their best to divert your attention from the elephant in the room.  Tobacco advertising has been overtly sexist and overtly pro-woman (i.e. Virginia Slims); it will be anything you want it to be in order to gain your love and trust.

Indeed, we could  talk all day about the dubious practice of selling carcinogens, but let’s focus on the one tactic that tobacco peddlers have relied on most.  Here are ten fantastically sexy and sexist vintage ads for your viewing pleasure.


tobacco ad (26)


Can you believe they actually tried to make the second-hand smoke smell good?  This one advertises cherry and blueberry flavor.  I suppose it sounded like a good idea on paper.  After all, why must smoke always smell like the Grim Reaper farted? Why can’t second-hand smoke not only cause cancer, but smell great too? Well, you’ve got to hand it to Tipalet for giving it the college try, even if it did end with abysmal failure.  Fruity smokes may not have worked out, but at least it spawned this infamous advert ….

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Posted: 4th, February 2014 | In: Flashback, Key Posts, The Consumer | Comments (2)

For China’s Professional Cigarette Smokers Life Is Good

smoking china

LI Hui is a cigarette tester. She tests them by smoking them. And she loves her job:

As one of hundreds of “tobacco appraisers” in China, Li Hui, a petite, pony-tailed mother, has been smoking up to 30 cigarettes a day for more than 20 years. “It’s my job, and I like it,” Li explained in a long profile in the Global Times, a Chinese state-run newspaper. “Besides, I haven’t seen anyone around me or my friends getting sick from smoking yet.”

Li’s attitude, and the fact that she works for an officially-sanctioned company, Heilongjiang Tobacco Industrial, encapsulate the paradoxes China faces in dealing with a smoking epidemic. The country has over 320 million smokers, more than the population of the United States and over one-third of the world’s total, and the government has been taking small steps to try to discourage smoking, as Quartz previously reported. But with the country’s tobacco regulator and much of the tobacco industry controlled by the state – and tobacco taxes making up as much as 10 percent of state revenues – it’s a tough battle.

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Posted: 16th, October 2013 | In: Money, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment

Freedom is rife on the Armenia / Georgia border

AT a truck stop on the Armenia / Georgia border, the sweet smell of freedom. Grab the cigarettes while you can:

Spotter: Samizdata

Posted: 11th, February 2013 | In: The Consumer | Comment

New cigarette packets in Australia glorify death and disease

IF you like death and disease you should love these new cigarette packets designed by the Australian State. The country has introduced plain packaging for cigarettes. It now means that its takes smokers much longer than ever to pick out their favoured brand. It should also mean more youth picking a packet of iffy Raffles over cool Marlboro Lights, albeit accidentally.

All tobacco boxes are now a dull brown-green colour (see smokers’ lungs) and festooned with anti-smoking messages and gory photographs. The brand names appears in smell letting.

So. Does it work. Would these new packets put you off smoking?


Posted: 1st, December 2012 | In: The Consumer | Comment (1)

Every day racism: this 1970s advert for Silk Cut cigarettes

YOU know that bemoaning of policial correctness, how it’s always gone mad at the behest of a brigade? Well, what it does mena is that dressing John Bird up as “fuzzy wuzzy” and having his flog ciggies is no longer seen as progressive. This from the 1970s:

Posted: 24th, October 2012 | In: Flashback, The Consumer | Comment

Government spending our money to lobby Government: the swine

YOU may or may not be lucky enough to see posters around the place arguing that all cigarettes should be sold in plain packages. This, it is said, will reduce smoking and thus thousands of faerie folk will frolic in our woodlands. That it will do nothing of the sort is only a trivial point.

The background is that at present the government is carrying out a “consultation exercise”. This is where they pretend to listen to people and then decide whether to do whatever it is. Now, if people wish to influence this consultation exercise they’ve every right to do so. This is a democracy with free speech after all.v This is actually what we’re supposed to do, tell the fuckers who rule us how we want to be ruled.

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Posted: 4th, April 2012 | In: Money | Comment (1)

Cigarettes Are Good For Your Chest

RAO Jiacang uses cigarette packets to cover the hole in this chest following heart surgery.

See how his heart beats… (not for everyone)

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Posted: 17th, October 2008 | In: Photojournalism, Strange But True | Comments (5)