Re: Smokes

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(I realize in this particular linked example, it's to show "the twins! they're different!" but I'm wondering more in general.)


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:12 AM
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I think it's a fossil from back when more people smoked, more incessantly. Brands meant more about your personality (yes, bullshit marketing, but anything you do twenty times a day is going to get inside your head). My parents smoked Marlboros, and would have been kind of insulted to be confused with people who would smoke a less serious brand of cigarettes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:14 AM
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Part of the fun of smoking is choosing what brand to smoke. Now Virginia Slims, that's a woman's cigarette. What do they have, little breasts on them?

Posted by: Steve Martin | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:17 AM
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Paid brand placing?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:21 AM
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It's also just good colour/detail. They tell us what brand of jeans they wear, their favourite trainers and what kind of car they drive, too.

I've actually never read a celebrity profile of a celeb who smoked where they didn't smoke Marlboro or American Spirit, though. Working class British pop musicians may smoke Benson & Hedges. French people will smoke stereotypical French cigarettes.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:29 AM
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Obviously anyone who smokes a Gauloise is anti-American and probably godless, too.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:30 AM
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it's to show "the twins! they're different!"

I think actually, it's there to show something more along the lines of "the twins! they're superficially different!"


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:34 AM
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Different brands of cigarettes have different flavors, different levels of strength, and different cultural coding.


Posted by: Toadmonster | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:38 AM
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5: Annoying American people will also smoke stereotypical French cigarettes.

At the little mini-meetup in brooklyn two weeks ago, AWB and I smoked some cigarettes that DaveB rolled by hand. That brand was awesome. I always forget what not having a filter will do.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:45 AM
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Camels, motherfuckers!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:47 AM
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Is there really something to be learned about one's character by knowing that they smoke Parliaments versus Marlboros?

Gawd, yes.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:51 AM
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Parliaments have recessed filters. And you know what that means.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:51 AM
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"He can't be a man 'cause he does not smoke the same cigarettes as me."


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:08 AM
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I'm old enough to remember when everyone I knew smoked, pretty much, and to remember much of the cultural encoding. A lot of it had to do with the concept that the stronger and more harsh the cigarette, the more manly the smoker.

Camel straights, Pall Mall unfiltereds, and Lucky Strike were the macho signifiers of choice for the WW II generation. All these were so strong that a few puffs were enough to allay nicotine craving, and a few more puffs were enough to "satisfy", by which I mean "take me to the borderline of a gagging cough".
Chesterfields (the choice of R. W. Reagan, who appeared in their advertisments) and Old Golds and Raleighs were not far behind, followed by the filtered versions of all of these. Hard-core smokers who liked menthol smoked unfiltered Kools (the choice of L. Ron Hubbard).
Marlboro was about the TV illusion of cowboyhood, and the default smoke of my generation of young men -- the hardpack box was also a masculine signifier. Winston compted for the same market, and was about as strong, with a "drier" taste that some preferred. Menthol smokers in this range (including most of the black men I knew in the 60s and 70s) smoked Kool filters. Newports were less strong menthols; the menthol was reputed to cover up the taste of floor sweepings in the actual tobacco.

Only pansies and women smoked the new lighter range of cigarettes: Larks, Parliaments, Bel-Air, etc.

After the Surgeon General's report, this all changed, and every brand came out with a light version to give smokers the illusion that they weren't killing themselves quite so fast. Most of my Marlboro-addicted friends switched to Merits or Marlboro Lights; Camel smokers went to Camel Lights, etc.


Posted by: joel hanes | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:01 PM
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A funny fact is that Marlboro Reds (the makers of whom I have never represented) are lights by the standard nicotine level that separates lights from regulars. They sell them as regulars, but they could sell them as lights if they wanted to. Marlboro lights are lighter still.

Current thinking is that light v. regular doesn't make a heck of a lot of health difference, anyway.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:06 PM
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11:If you say so. As someone old enough to remember the cigarette days, and a smoker since the 60s, I never noticed anybody paying attention, except at the margins, hardcore Pall Mall nonfilters, imports, cinnamon cigarettes. Much less signalling than cars, less a big deal than Chevy vs Ford pickups, which wasn't much.

This is why advertising is so important, because a smoker becomes arbitrarily branded in youth. I smoke menthols mostly because I have always smoked menthols.

For the record:Kool shorts (as a kid), Kools, Menthol Merits, Menthol Dorals. Played with cigars & pipes in HS.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:08 PM
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Ttam's right that in this case it's just about writing 101: show details. I'm agog, though, that B&H is a working class brand?!? Here it's kinda upper middle. I think it's because of the ampersand.

Marlboro Reds signify that MK is a trendoid. Parliament Lights suggest that Ashley has a kinda 70s vibe going on.

My own brand signifies that one smokes *these* because one likes the taste, as opposed to simply because one is addicted. Seriously: their new little package insert says "smoke less, smoke better." Of course they're as addictive as anything else, but.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:10 PM
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I've heard that


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:12 PM
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Damnit, I tried to use a less-than sign to mean less-than.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:12 PM
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I've heard that less than five cigarettes a day has no statistical impact on one's health.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:13 PM
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When I was about 20 I smoked black Sobranie for about 6 months to prove myself I could afford them. They were unspeakably foul, and I became very poor.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:14 PM
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20: I have heard the same, from a real doctor no less (she had to be pushed pretty hard to admit it, though). The problem is it's damn hard to keep it under 5 a day for very long.

FWIW, though, I went to the Pride celebration yesterday and got talked into doing a little breathalyzer test of the carbon monoxide level in my blood. She said the results would have indicated I'm a non-smoker if I hadn't told her otherwise. Then she colluded with PK to nag me to quit smoking. Fucking lesbians.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:18 PM
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19: What you want is <.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:18 PM
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I take a pinch of snuff every now and then.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:19 PM
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Then she colluded with PK to nag me to quit smoking. Fucking lesbians.

PK is a bit young for a relationship, I feel.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:20 PM
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17:Nah, there are significant differences in taste. On the other hand, most people don't change because they are used to a specific taste, not because many brands are compared.

JH was informative in 14, but I honestly don't remember anybody considered more or less manly for smoking a particular brand. Course, my experience is mostly after the SG's report, and by that time, the unfiltered guys were considered crazy. But the roll-your-own guys, if not poor, were considered cool.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:21 PM
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14: I sold cigarettes on Skid Row for awhile around 1970, and Pall Mall straights was half the sales, and camels straights a fourth, with Lucky Strike coming in third. People said that Camels were stronger per puff but the longer Pall Malls had more total nicotine.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:22 PM
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24:I did snuff for about a year, if the under-the-lip stuff is snuff. Talk about disgusting.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:22 PM
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I have heard the same, from a real doctor no less (she had to be pushed pretty hard to admit it, though). The problem is it's damn hard to keep it under 5 a day for very long.

Huh! I've been keeping this up for some 10 years now. Well, go me, I suppose.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:26 PM
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"Snoose" around here.

My Dad was a chain-smoking MD who told people to quit. He's famous around here for that alone.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:26 PM
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My ex-boyfriend always dipped, because he was perpetually trying to quit smoking, and I said he was on the country patch.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:27 PM
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the new lighter range of cigarettes: Larks

Larks were considered lighter? Yikes. They're like smoking rope.

I smoked black Sobranie

I smoked those for a while in high school, as well as the Sobranie cocktails, which were all sorts of crazy colors (pink, blue, green, etc). For a time, it was quite the fad and always entertaining to see a bunch of beefy guys in heavy metal t-shirts smoking pink cigarettes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:28 PM
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I started smoking cigars when I was 13. I switched to cigarettes at 15. I'm extremely lucky not to have an addictive personality, though, and I go weeks and months without cigarettes. I don't think I've ever smoked more than 5 a day for more than two days in a row, except while writing or after a bad breakup. I can't imagine smoking a pack a day, and when I spend time with friends who do, I get very easily choked on smoke, and a nicotine headache.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:28 PM
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Did the cigars make you popular?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:31 PM
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34: It was an affectation, but one I shared with several friends. By the time I was 19, I realized cigars were pretty ridiculous and stopped buying them altogether.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:34 PM
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29: OMG, you big liar-by-omission. I had no idea you smoked.

I'm extremely lucky not to have an addictive personality, though, and I go weeks and months without cigarettes. I don't think I've ever smoked more than 5 a day for more than two days in a row, except while writing or after a bad breakup. I can't imagine smoking a pack a day

Yup. I said the same thing at your age. Famous last words. (Though that said, I've gotten back down to 3-5 a day now, but I'd still like to quit altogether if only because of the Setting a Bad Example for PK thing.)

quite the fad and always entertaining to see a bunch of beefy guys in heavy metal t-shirts smoking pink cigarettes.

So cool. I admit that I heart Fantasias, which are all colorful and have gold filters. But I refuse to smoke them, because I'm setting a bad enough example already without smoking cool-looking candy-colored cigarettes.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:38 PM
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Do you guys know the story about how Groucho Marx got kicked off TV?

Apparently he had a live talk show for a little while in the 50's. On this fateful show, he was interviewing a housewife, and he asked her how many children she had.

"Eight children," she answered.
"Eight children!" Groucho said, "How do you do it?"
"Well, I love my husband very much," she answered.
"Lady, I love my cigar, but I take it out of my mouth once in a while," said Groucho.

And it was live TV of course, and it caused a big stink, and he got thrown out. My dad tells this story and I've never verified it, so if it's an urban legend, please keep that fact to yourself.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:39 PM
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36: Yep, cloves, embarrassingly enough.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:51 PM
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37 - "In the butt, Bob."


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:53 PM
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I doubt the writer is getting a kickback for the product placement from a tobacco company

Given the lengths to which the tobacco companies have gone in the past to promote their products, I wouldn't absolutely rule out kickbacks, but a more likely reason is simply that the authors of these kind of profiles are instructed to mention any item said celebrity claims to like. That and what ttaM says: it's an easy way to provide superficial detail.

I don't mind smokers, but smoking is one habit I can't even imagine wanting to indulge in. Just the thought of inhaling hot smoke makes me ill. (But I'm also inclined to be claustrophobic and suffocation is the way I least want to go, so make of that what you will.)

Sobranies always make me think of Betjeman and his "Balkan Sobranies in a wooden box ..."


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 1:56 PM
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Bob at 26:
so you mostly don't remember cigarette advertisements on TV? Man, that was the golden age of marketing. People my age can still recite the slogans verbatim, and sing the jingles.
Earliest I remember was "Call for Philllipp Morrrrisss!"
Nine out of ten doctors preferred Camels.
Lucky Strike: originally "It's Toasted", later LSMFT "Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco", which is about the only one of these slogans that had much factual basis.
"Come up -- come _alllll_ the way up to Kool."
I don't recall ever seeing a female face in a Marlboro ad, while the competing Winstons had nearly a 50/50 split. Marlboros originally claimed "There's a lot to like in a Marlboro: filter, flavor, pack or box", but the cowboy ads were so wildly successful that they just ran variations on them for what seemed like a decade. "Come to Marboro country," which was the Bitterroots or the Wind River Range or the Sawtooths or the High Plains or the High Sierra. "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should" was succeeded by "What do you want: good grammar or good taste?" Tareyton smokers (another brand that advertised to women) would "Rather Fight Than Switch", and had big faux black-eye rings around one eye to so demonstrate; the cigarettes had the "patented Micronite filter".
Yes, Larks were originally considered light, and were the first cigarette I smoked, hiding under the Hwy 18 bridge walking home from church. I believe that their angle was activated charcoal in the filter.

Army C-rations packed in the 50's contained a "comfort kit" that had a little hard-pack of three cigarettes and a half-pack of matches, along with the toilet paper and the toothpicks. When they were issued to me in the early 70s, the cigarettes (invariably Pall Malls, Luckies, or Camels) were twenty years old and dessicated; an incautiously-large puff would consume a third of the cigarette and destroy lungs and bronchia on contact.
Pure smoking enjoyment, I'm tellin' ya.

We used to smoke hand-rolled Prince Albert on wilderness canoe trips, because the can was waterproof, and would hold the papers and matches in a buttoned pocket.

Now I don't smoke any more. It was killing me.

bitchphd is kidding herself -- it's killing her.


Posted by: joel hanes | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:15 PM
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LSMFT "Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco"

I grew up in Durham, where Lucky Strikes were once made. And even though it was well after cigarette advertising had disappeared from the airwaves, it was still commonly known among the kids that LSMFT "really" stood for Loose Straps Mean Floppy Titties.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:19 PM
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bitchphd is kidding herself -- it's killing her.

It's a tossup whether I'll die from smoking or die from irritation at people who insist on pointing out that smoking's bad for you.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:22 PM
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Like Adidas means All Day I Dream About Sex.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:22 PM
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It does?!?!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:23 PM
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My wife remembers that before the Cowboy, Marlboros were packaged as a "ladies" cigarette, and she will then sing: "You get a lot to like in a Marlboro: filter, flavor, pack or box!" She smoked Merits, with their roundel, which 'Muricans always call a bullseye.

I remember Canadian tv ads from the early sixties, with Bob Goulet: "Smoke DuMaurier, for real smoking pleasure, DuMaurier the cigarette of good taste!"

I remember the comfort packs in the C-rations, also in the early 70s, although I thought I remembered the brand was not something I'd ever heard of. I've a clear memory of smoking one on bivouac, leaning against a tree, a rare moment of repose.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:26 PM
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Let's Kill B, guys!

Smoking is killing you B.

Killing you!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:33 PM
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Be nice, John.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:34 PM
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Thanks, John. I'll quit right away, because you've convinced me.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:34 PM
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> Let's Kill B, guys!

Nah, I'd rather curse Sir Walter Raleigh; he was such a stupid git.


Posted by: joel hanes | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:35 PM
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I'm not trying to make you quit B.

As I made clear.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:41 PM
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Of course it's about money. When a celebrity uses a mass market commercial product, it's the celebrity, not the journalist, who gets the kickback. The journalist reports the product name because he wants to please the celebrity, and because he wants to please the product manufacturer, which also pays for advertising in the celebrity magazine. The journalist wants repeat business from both.

It's a good system for allinvolved because it gives the celebrity a cash incentive to show up for the invervies.


Posted by: uncreativeguy . . . | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:42 PM
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>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:44 PM
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>>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:44 PM
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>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:44 PM
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Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:45 PM
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/ > / =


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:45 PM
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OK, a soultion. Not greater than, not equal. Less. Elegant.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:46 PM
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Durham, where Lucky Strikes were once made.

As a kid, I thought Winston-Salem was so named because the people there smoked either Winstons or Salems. I vaguely imagined that other brands might not even be permitted there. Also, what was the cigarette that advertised "Taste me! Taste me!"? That line was a never-ending source of chuckles for me and my brother.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:52 PM
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I'm not trying to make you quit B.

No one should have to quit B.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:55 PM
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re:advertising: Since the feds have gotten into the tabaccy business, their pretend anti-smoking ads that motivate me to smoke more out of spite have been really effective.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:57 PM
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60: It's true. Better yet, no one should make me want to quit them.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:07 PM
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61 is true. Anti-whatever ads are the best evidence that yes, in fact, the CIA *does* want urban blacks to all be addicted to drugs.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:08 PM
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If we really want to drive B nuts, and we do, and by this I mean "more nuts than she is already", what we need to do is get to PK with the anti-smoking message, providing him also with clever verbal anti-smoking ploys and a lot of multi-media anti-smoking shit.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:22 PM
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Couldn't we just help PK find Jesus?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:23 PM
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In due time. Once B is totally nuts she'll probably do that herself, though.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:26 PM
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Also, what was the cigarette that advertised "Taste me! Taste me!"?

Doral Old Golds.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:29 PM
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64: No worries, he's already writing signs and taping them to the door outside.
65: Good luck with that. I've actually had to have talks with him to get him to so much as tolerate the idea that other people believe in god.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:22 PM
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Oh cigarettes, how I loved you! What a pleasure to sit in the back of the art history lecture hall, smoking Camels and daydreaming! Those days were the good days.

Gauloise were the most delicious cigarettes, to other cigarettes as Lapsang Souchong is to oolong tea, but after a week of them I'd wake up at five in the morning with a hideous choking cough, so back to Camels.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:46 PM
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69: Yeah, people laugh at you and call you a wimp, but lite cigarettes are better for you.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:47 PM
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41:Trolljack!!!!

Now that you mention them I do remember those commercials but they weren't close to mind, for I haven't really ever watched commercial television.
See, I grew up in household with no males many girls, sisters, friends, cousins, charity cases (abused). While it is not impossible for a five-yr-old boy to watch TV with five girls, for a 10+ boy to sit for hours in a room with 5+ adolescent and teenage girls was more challenging. I did go out with the guys, but we didn't watch tv. And by the time I moved out on my own I had different interests and habits.

So didn't watch primetime series TV in the sixties, nor have I since. With exceptions. So I have missed a whole lot of American Culture.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 5:00 PM
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71: I figure I remember it so well because I haven't watched it anywhere near as much since the sixties. Stuff from the late seventies and early eighties, when I watched but much more selectively, looks stranger and more unfamiliar to me.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 5:17 PM
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45: It does?!?!

Sadly, it doesn't.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 5:25 PM
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That though I loved them for their faults
As much as for their good,
My friends were enemies on stilts
With their heads in a cunning cloud.

I just wanted to quote that. No message.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 6:55 PM
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45: Of course not. It means: all day I dream of soccer.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 7:50 PM
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Adidos?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 8:03 PM
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Bye to you, too, apo. Arg.

Also, Emerson, isn't it "Snus?"


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 8:16 PM
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59:
Growing up in Winston-Salem, I saw a few smokers of Salem (invariably African-American) and almost no smokers of Winston. My cynical guess is that Winston's redneck appeal was hampered by the fact that Winston itself was originally the black working-class neighbor of comparatively patrician Salem. ("East Winston", like "East Durham", "East Charlotte", and "East St. Louis", still signifies an African-American quarter.)

The city's informal nickname was "The Camel City", as memorialized in a number of local businesses, and in my high school virtually everyone who smoked smoked Camels. As, sadly, I still do. I try to blame the memory of long, humid summers when the rich aroma of cured tobacco (from a factory at least five miles away) settled over our neighborhood most afternoons.

5 et al:
My impression of Benson & Hedges was that it strongly correlated with well-to-do (or at least snooty) Women of A Certain Age and young gay men.

In high school, a friend was nearly thrown out of his house not for being gay, but for defiantly smoking B&H--a brand NOT made by the R.J. Reynolds company, for which both his parents worked. Apparently his family was spared disaster by the timely introduction of the quintessentially gay Reynolds brand called (I shit you not) "RITZ by Yves St. Laurent".


Posted by: Rah | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 9:05 PM
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"RITZ by Yves St. Laurent"

I remember those! I bought a pack once at the Kroger I worked at in high school. They were terrible.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:18 PM
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I bought a pack once at the Kroger I worked at in high school.

Fag.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:20 PM
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Fag.

Yes, 20 per box.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:34 PM
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I've actually never been a smoker of cigarettes, although I've smoked a decent number here and there. virginia ovals are badass. I smoked cloves for like a week in eighth grade. and snuff, the snortable kind. I used to like to buy bel-airs (intending to replace the tobacco with weed) because to me, that was a brand that said: old polish lady. some kind of crazy coupons came with them that you could allegedly save up to buy things.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 3:22 AM
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Camels are for kids, man.

Cloves are for kids with bleeding lungs. Still, all I've ever been able to tolerate, cigarette-wise.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 5:43 AM
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J-School 101: Pat yourself on the back for being "observant" and mentioning the brand of smokes or his salt-and-pepper whiskers or the height of her high heels, while studiously ignoring the actual contradictions between what he or she is telling you and what can be proven to be factually correct. (Not to mention the contradictions inherent in your own mode of production.)


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 5:59 AM
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69: "Lite" smokes are for sissies. Lucky Strike unfiltered are the best. They taste good, and if someone bums one from you, there is the added fun of watching them walk into walls or into traffic after the first deep inhale.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 6:59 AM
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My favorite cigarettte brand story came during college.

I was working at a liquor store, which allowed me to steal entire cartons of cigarettes at will. Since I had an unlimited supply, I ended up giving away lots of smokes to friends and strangers. As an experiment, I decided to try to find a brand that would eliminate the freeloader problem.

So for a few weeks, I ended up smoking Kool unfiltereds. (Who knew such a product even existed?) I didn't get a single taker during the entire time. I switched back to a more desirable brand due to the fact that they were so gross, of course, but the experiment was an utter successs.


Posted by: Petey | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 7:22 AM
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When I smoke, I tend to smoke Marlboro Lights.

When I was a teenager though, I smoked Kensitas Club -- the Scottish stoner's cigarette of choice as it came with a little token which made a perfect roach. They are really nasty cigarettes.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 7:57 AM
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88

"When I smoke, I tend to smoke Marlboro Lights."

Ugh. The only brand actually worse than Kool unfiltereds...


Posted by: Petey | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 8:01 AM
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78: Do you think Winston's long-time sponsorship of NASCAR's premier division was intended, not merely as a way of keeping the brand on television after the ad bans, which it did admirably, but also to reach that redneck market? I'm thinking of the scene as it was in the seventies, with a high proportion of the tracks in No. Carolina, many now closed. Today's typical fan is to the rednecks of yore as Garth Brooks is to Hank Williams.

Benson & Hedges was the subject of one of the great ad campaigns of the sixties, the "silly millimeter longer" ads. What their US demographic was, before or after, I don't know. The only B&H smoker I knew was a beautiful young woman I was roomates with in the late seventies.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 8:15 AM
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re: 88

About 80% of smokers under 40 in the UK seem to smoke 'em.

According to this table it only has a 6% market share, but it must be concentrated among people I know:

http://www.ash.org.uk/html/factsheets/html/fact18.html


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 8:17 AM
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91

Marlboro Lights and Camel Lights account for about 90% of the smokers that I know.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 8:27 AM
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92

Marlboro Lights and Camel Lights account for about 90% of the smokers that I know.

They'll certainly account for them if they keep smoking them.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 8:32 AM
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"Marlboro Lights ... account for about 90% of the smokers that I know."

You must exclusively hang out with sexually precocious teenage girls.


Posted by: Petey | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 8:34 AM
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94

So "account for" means "kill" in England?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 8:38 AM
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95

94: more like "do for".


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 8:40 AM
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So "account for" means "kill" in England?

Don't remember that one from Get Carter.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 8:40 AM
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re: 91

Yeah, that more or less matches my perception here. Not including people who smoke roll-ups and the odd freak who smokes Marboloro Reds or french fags.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 8:45 AM
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You must exclusively hang out with sexually precocious teenage girls.

How I wish this was true.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 9:02 AM
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What's the roll-up tax situation in the UK? Here, there aren't enough smokers to catch the attention of the state, so I get to smoke relatively good tobacco at a)a fraction of the cost of cigarettes and b)without subsidizing the oppressors quite so much. $9.00 for a 150g(200-250 smokes worth) can of Drum, here. That's an avoidance of $15.00 worth of state tax stamps alone.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 9:26 AM
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86: I wonder if my older brother cadged some of these from you. He was a Kool smoker, and ended up with a large supply of unfiltereds (I forget from where). They were unbelievably vile, and we would smoke them only when we ran out of actual, smokable cigarettes. But we smoked 'em all.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 9:28 AM
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"I wonder if my older brother cadged some of these from you."

I'm not exaggerating when I said I had no takers during the entire experiment.

I would be at crowded parties at 3am when everyone was drunk and desperate for tobacco, and when I informed the beggars what I was smoking, they would inevitably slink away.

And I will note that while the Kool unfiltereds really were incredibly disgusting, the package was quite aesthetically pleasing.


Posted by: Petey | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 9:40 AM
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I gave up smoking about 6 years ago, but before that I used to smoke B&H apart from a period in my early 20s where I smoked roll-ups on and off. They didn't have an image as a particularly pretentious cigarette, occasionally they would be seen as "hard" cigarettes for a woman to be smoking instead of lights.

I quit by deciding to stop when I had come to the end of a particular batch of duty free cigs. So I had about a 2 month count down. It wasn't as hard as I expected - far less difficult than losing weight.

The nastiest cigarettes I ever tried were a harsh East German unfiltered brand, came in some kind of black and white checked box. A friend picked them up in reunified Germany in 1990 where they were still on the market for Ossies who would accept no substitutes.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 11:24 AM
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Ossies from Ostvolk, Easterners?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 11:34 AM
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Marlboro Ultra-Lights because I am ultra gay. I've smoked everything, though. For a long time I smoked menthols purely to keep the freeloaders away, as Petey describes. I also smoked hand-rolled for a while with some delicious and extremely cheap Virginian tobacco that I got from a local shop. Amazing cigarettes. I'm too lazy to go back to them but I remember them fondly.

The nastiest cigarette I've ever had was a Sputnik. $0.35/pack in Moscow in '94 which was still a chunk of change by local standards. KJ bought the pack and we tried them and I later described them to a friend as tasting "like ass, rolled up in paper and set on fire."

Once, years and years ago, KJ and I found ourselves at a party hosted by a young man who had just inherited his mother's vacation home. A carton of her Newport Ultra Light 100's were on top of the fridge and he offered them around. We were that desperate. It was not a good experience.

An old roommate of mine from college, known locally as The Diva, used to joke that one day we'd wind up roommates again in some rest home, "smoking Benson & Hedges Ultra-Light Menthols and talking about the days we didn't have to chase dick because dick chased us." They have a very, very gay vibe going.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 3:08 PM
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89: Kensitas Club! the memories come back, with little bits of lung adhering to them. Soon you'll be confessing the Embassy Regal.

As a teenager in Scontland I used to experiment with Capstan Full Strength to demonstrate that I was not a wee English poof. That is what's known on the veldt as a costly signal.

The worst cigarettes I ever smoked consistently were Austria C, from the state tobacco monopoly there. Something about balkan tobacco makes it completely lethal. It was an entire packet of Bulgarian cigarettes, smoked in a single evening, which made me so ill I was finally able to give up and make it stick the next day.

Roll-ups, though, actually taste good. I'll still bum one if the chance comes up.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 3:16 PM
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I don't smoke, but my old boss used to smoke this really cheap brand of what I think were small (cigarette sized) cigars of some sort that he got for like $5 a case or some ridiculously low price. Not even chain smokers could stand to be around when he smoked those.


Posted by: MaxPolun | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 3:21 PM
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> what's known on the veldt as a costly signal.

Bingo. Cigarettes are the quintessence of costly signalling.


Posted by: joel hanes | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 10:39 PM
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Ossies from Ostvolk, Easterners?

Probably - I'm using the English speakers' version of whatever the other Germans called them.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 08-28-07 4:05 AM
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109

Players Number 6! - I am not a number, I am a cigarette made of sawdust and floor sweepings!


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-28-07 4:58 AM
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I had given up in January with the occasional lapse at parties. However, the past few weeks I've been smoking a bit more again [by bit more I mean about a pack of cigarettes over the past 2 - 3 weeks]. This is bad. However, the honest truth is, I really like smoking.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-28-07 5:06 AM
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> the honest truth is, I really like smoking.
Me too, ttaM, me too. In fact, I think it's my greatest talent, something that I do well under all circumstances, even with grace under pressure. I didn't quit willingly;
I quit because I had to.


Posted by: joel hanes | Link to this comment | 08-28-07 12:05 PM
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112

Ten things you didn't know about cigarettes.


Posted by: joel hanes | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:31 AM
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