Most modern myths about cigarettes boil down to the “fact” that there is no tobacco in them. However, there are many more “little secrets” and I will introduce you to some of them in this review.
You’ve probably noticed how little time it takes to smoke a modern King Size cigarette. On average, it’s 3 minutes or even less. Many people may be surprised to learn that in the 1970s, the average time to smoke one cigarette was 10 minutes!
And even earlier, in the mid-1950s, the norm for a standard KS cigarette was a smoke break of 15 minutes. 15 minutes per cigarette! Unthinkable time for modern times =(
This is because the volume of natural tobacco in modern cigarettes has been seriously reduced. This is indirectly confirmed by such an indicator as “persistence of ash”. The term is now known only to fans of cigar smoking, but more recently it was applicable to cigarettes as well. In the 1970s it was possible to smoke a whole cigarette without shaking off the ash, which was held firmly in place while smoking. Now this trick is physically impossible because of the very loose ash.
In the movie The Fifth Element, the attentive viewer might have noticed a rather strange cigarette in the hands of Bruce Willis’ character. The oddity of the cigarette was that most of it was occupied by a filter. The movie is of course fiction, but this is the case with modern cigarettes, and if all the tobacco in a cartridge case is sealed properly, its smoking part will be about this length.
Another modern “myth” is the “chemical” nature of modern tobacco, and it is not a myth, it is our reality. Modern farmers, still in the process of growing, have so spiked the plants with chemicals that it has become an unsafe job to harvest them without protective suits. This “breeding” of the tobacco bush ensures the right amount of tar and nicotine in a smaller volume of tobacco leaf. And it benefits everyone except the end user.
The World Health Organization is now putting considerable pressure on all manufacturers to reduce the maximum tar and nicotine content of cigarettes. The only way out for manufacturers, in the face of WHO requirements, has been to reduce the amount of tobacco in a cigarette and, as a result, reduce the physical length of the cigarette.
And in 2006 Bulgartabac began producing such cigarettes under the name Just Short, with a fair cartridge length. The strength of these cigarettes was equal to Marlboro Gold, but Just Short was slightly shorter than the standard King Size. However, the new brand did not take root and in three years was discontinued. Sales statistics revealed a fun fact — smokers are not as willing to buy cigarettes shorter than the KS format. Thanks to this statistic, the Queen Size and even smaller King Size Super Slims came into existence.
The new formats were promoted differently in each country. In Russia, for some reason, “compacts” were declared to be “Russians’ favorite format. However, their mass appearance on sale was during the 2008 crisis and they were simply cheaper than their counterparts in the standard format.
In the USSR, all cigarettes conformed to established norms, GOST, in which all indicators were established — from the size of tobacco strips, to taste and strength indicators. Cigarettes themselves were designated first by numbered varieties, and after GOST-81 — by classes. You may not have known, but American tobacco still uses the “grade” of cigarettes to this day. Many have probably noticed the message on “overseas” cigarettes that they are “class A,” rightly believing that this is the highest quality.
However, that is not the case. The American “grade” is a declaration of the amount of tobacco consumed per cigarette. And “class A” does not imply high tobacco content. In fact, the highest quality and most expensive cigarettes were “class B” cigarettes, but they are no longer made today due to the factors described above.
In the tobacco industry of the world, or rather in the marketing part of it, there is such a thing as “cross brands”. These are brands of cigarettes whose names intersect with other products, by the way, not always tobacco. The idea first emerged in the 1970s and its innovator was the South African billionaire Anton Rupert, since 1953 the owner of the Rothmans plants.
Rupert bought famous brands and “cross-branded” their names with cigarette brand names. So the most famous “cross brand” became Dunhill cigarettes, after Rupert purchased Alfred Dunhill Of London. Cigarettes of the same name even had a “Royal Warrant” and the unenlightened public was convinced that these were the cigarettes smoked by Queen Elizabeth.
In fact, the use of the Order for cigarettes was not legal, as only Dunhill pipe tobacco was awarded it back in 1927. The Dunhill brand is still the subject of many lawsuits to this day, with many scandalous stories behind its noble exterior.
Another famous “cross brand” of Rupert was Cartier cigarettes, released immediately after purchasing the rights to the brand. The practice of producing “cross brands” is now a thing of the past, and new attempts are being vigilantly monitored by the WHO’s watchdogs.
The messages on today’s packs of little-known brands stating that cigarettes are produced “under control” or “under agreement with the trademark owner” are nothing more than a marketing ploy designed to increase consumer confidence. It is most often used by manufacturers from Russia and the UAE.
If you look carefully at the legal address listed on the pack, you will notice a mention of some “letterbox” located outside the manufacturer’s country. Most often England or the United States is listed. In fact the “letterbox” is literally a mailbox! That is, roughly speaking, “letterbox” — it’s just a legal address and there are no employees or anything. But no! The legal address has a bank account to which any money can easily be withdrawn, as a license fee for trademark rights.
And buying a “letterbox” can also help create a brand story. For example, when a completely new brand is launched and a long-established “address” is bought. Like this, quite legally, on a new pack of a brand nobody knows, an inscription like “London, sience 1905” appears. These are not fraudulent schemes, but legal, legally justified ways to gain the trust of consumers.
Another way to quickly raise the bar is to use a well-known brand name. It is true that this method, because of legal complications, is not often used. So under international law, a trademark whose name has not been used for 20 years can be bought by anyone and produce anything under it.
Because of this nuance, some rights holders who want to keep the brand for themselves, are forced at least once every 20 years to release products under the name registered as a trademark. For cigarette brands, such re-release is usually limited to a small batch and in a very modest design. Purely nominal production, but this fact is not known even to many collectors with experience. These issues and of interest are actually only for collectors, but even they do not always realize how many of these valuable bundles. The value of copies is not so much in the beautiful exterior of the pack, as in the limited edition.
That’s the kind of review I got today. I hope it was interesting for you. As always, I look forward to your opinions, feedback, and suggestions in the comments!
Original Source: Medium