• DAY 14 Perry – Bermondsey

    Listening to: Stone Temple Pilots – Vasaline

    Emotion: Elated


    I wake up early and have a cigarette in bed. It’s a pastime that contributes to 120 deaths and nearly 1300 injuries every year in the U.K. (Do you smoke after sex? Only if I’ve been doing it fast enough!)

    smoking in bed

    Today is my last day as a smoker and if I’m totally honest and truthful I can’t wait to see the back of it.

    I no longer smell cigarettes as I used to as I’m smoking all the time but every now and again I walk into a room of my flat and the stench hits me. The first thing I’m going to do tomorrow, my first day as an ex-smoker is to clean my home throughout and complete several loads of washing… oh the joy!

    I’m sat outside the Tate collecting my thoughts and eating a spot of lunch. Of course I have a cigarette afterwards, my ninth of the day and it’s only 2.10pm.

    I feel a bit guilty out here as there are hundreds of children around. I cup the cigarette in my hand. I don’t like smoking in front of children. I don’t want them thinking it’s cool to smoke because it’s not. I don’t need cigarettes to be cool. Cool is a state of mind and I’m ice cold baby!

    Mind you, anyone who’s seen me smoking will testify I certainly don’t look cool when I’m indulging.

    I meet Kate and head to Zakudia, a beautiful first floor bar on the South Bank. Dr Sunny Kaul and Dr. Ranak arrive shortly afterwards.

    I chose this bar for several reasons to meet with the two doctors to discuss our last two weeks of Smoke Swap now it is reaching its’ end.

    Firstly, it was one of the first bars I sold in the Marlboro cigarette bar display furniture.

    Secondly, the impending smoking ban will be felt in bars more than any other public place – good or bad.

    Thirdly, the manager, a gentleman by the name of Siseho is an ex-smoker

    Forth and lastly when the ban comes into effect the manager is taking out the cigarette vending machine so not only will the venue be smoke free, you won’t be able to buy cigarettes in it.

    I look at Kate as she tells the doctors her story of the events of the last two week. She has gone from a pro-smoker who didn’t care about the long term effects of her habit to someone who has been on a journey of self discovery, found an inner strength and confidence from breaking the addiction to cigarettes.

    She can apply this new found confidence to other areas of her life and go forward a happy, healthy, beautiful and successful human being. In fact she has gone so far in two week she has started to sound like a anti-smoker telling us stories of other people she knows who smoke and she has been trying to tell them to give up.

    I on the other hand have only had nine cigarettes today so I take a pack from my pocket and offer Kate one. She rightly refuses. I’m very proud of her. I apologise to Kate and the doctors present and light up. The smoke seems to gravitate cruelly towards Kate. I smoke my last cigarette. I don’t enjoy it. I know it’s my last. I will never smoke again.

    Five minutes later and I’m once again a non-smoker. In fact now I’m an ex-smoker. I never thought I’d hear myself saying that. How am I going to explain this the next time I apply for insurance.

    SMOKES TODAY – 10 out of 10

    Old School Public Health Warning – Smoking in Bed (1978)

    The dangers of Smoking in Bed

    Smoking in Bed Deaths


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  • DAY 12 Perry – Barcelona to Bermondsey

    Listening to: Amaury Perez – Andes Lo Que Andes

    Emotion: Excited

    I’m heading back to Barcelona airport, a fifteen Km drive from my hotel. I open a pack of Consulate Menthol cigarettes and my colleague riding shotgun beside me tells me that these are really bad for me. Mind you, it doesn’t stop her from smoking one of mine though.

    Last night or should I say the early hours of the morning, while returning to our hotel she confided to me she was quitting smoking as she had developed a bad cough and smoked too many cigarettes that night. But that’s what I found with a lot of smokers, they are always just about to quit. As the Spanish say ‘manana, manana, manana’. That or they’ve quit many times before. As Mark Twain once quipped ‘It’s easy to quit smoking. I’ve done it dozens of times before’.

    menthol cigarettes stop me smoking

    I don’t want to sound pious but where is their back bone, the will power or the strength of character in these people? Are there that many people so insecure and weak who can’t stand by their own convictions?

    Reading that back now, I that it sounds harsh but really the easy option is just to carry on and blame everyone and everything around them for their problems. If change is going to come it has to come from within. That can be a scary place to look for some people. It’s easier to loose yourself in drugs, shopping and celebrity bullshit than start a journey of the self. But I believe the journey is worth starting. You owe it to yourself. You owe it to your self to stop smoking! Not your kids, not your partner or your boss. You owe it to yourself to stop smoking. You are a beautiful person.

    Rant over – The menthol cigarettes taste minty fresh, like toothpaste and are more pleasant than the other brands I’ve been smoking. The mint flavour comes from an application of menthol essence in the form of a spray to the silver foil in the pack of cigarettes not buy adding sprigs of mint leaf to the tobacco as many people believe. This odour seeps into the cigarette, adding a few more chemicals to the already heady mix.

    stop smoking Japanese Menthol cigarettes

    I know of people who started smoking menthol cigarettes when they were children because firstly they are very smooth to smoke and secondly they thought their breaths would smell of Polos. Of course their breath didn’t smell of Polos and their parents busted them for smoking. The truth is because they are easier to take the smoke down, they are more harmful than ‘normal’ cigarettes.

    I remember being told at Philip Morris that sales of Marlboro Menthol would rise during the winter months as some people were under the illusion these cigarettes were healthy cigarettes! Hello – there is No such thing as a healthy cigarette!

    I’m sure many children start smoking Menthol, the alcho-pop of cigarettes as their first cigarettes. Perhaps the tobacco companies could also manufacture chocolate, strawberry, vanilla or even Mc.Chicken Nugget flavoured cigarettes to get the kids hooked early. Sounds far fetched? I wish it was as this has already been done.

    Now I’m really finding it easy to smoke ten cigarettes a day. It’s quite frightening how easy it is in from my first experiences to twelve days down the line.

    I’ve got two days left now in this experiment and it would be easy to carry on smoking as the worst of the side effects are over but I know this would lead me down the road to addiction and I don’t won’t to be dependent on these little things that kill. I could even smoke more than ten a day now, I’ve hit the groove, I’m thinking like a smoker. But ten is more than enough for me, thank you very much.

    I must admit, I like the social aspect of this anti-social action. Hanging about, having a chat, a cup of tea and a cigarette is fun but the reality is I can do all that without cigarettes in my life.

    SMOKES TODAY – 10 out of 10

    One Thousand Americans Stop Smoking every Day – By Dying!

    Read more here…

    Why is it Hard To Stop Smoking?

    Stop Smoking to Prevent a Stroke

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  • Smoke Swap DAY 1 – Perry – Shoreditch

    Listening to: – Hella Dare you to Smoke – Gorillaz v No Doubt – Party Ben

    Emotion – Drained

    ‘Ciao bella’ I kiss Katie goodbye and wonder off in the direction of the station to catch my train home.

    ‘Take care of yourself. I’m worried about you’ she says. I walk off into the crowds of obscurity. You’re worried about me! I’m worried about me!

    Rewind the clock five hours earlier and I meet Katie in a coffee shop in Old Street and head off for a spot of lunch. Thai if you want to know.

    After lunch I give Katie a crash course in camera operation and we talk about starting and stopping smoking. Today the mad idea turns to reality.

    We meet the crew and head in the direction of a newsagent to buy cigarettes. As this is Smoke Swap and I don’t want to burn my own money I suggest to Kate that she has to hand over her money that she would spend on cigarettes over the next two weeks. We calculate it’s going to cost about forty UK Pounds Sterling and as we don’t carry that kind of cash on us we have to leg it to a cash machine.

    We head back to the newsagents and like two kids in a sweet shop we purchase 14 packs of ten cigarettes, one for each day. This is like some perverse pick ‘n’ mix.

    This little symbolic act costs Katie £43.00. As she usually buys a pack as she needs them she realises how much she wastes on this habit of hers.

    Armed with a couple of handfuls of cigarettes we head towards the studio were we are going to start/stop Smoke Swap for real – not long now.

    I’m feeling higher levels of anxiety, knowing soon I’ll have to light up. My bravado is slowly ebbing away.

    The cameras are rolling. I look across at Katie and she looks relaxed and at home where I feel like a complete fraud. I’m not comfortable in front of the cameras and feel naked and exposed. There is no-where to run and no-where to hide. Soon I’ll disappear into a puff of smoke. Oh shit, what have I gone and got myself into…

    We exchange stories about cigarettes in our lives up to this point.

    I can’t put it off any longer. I hear myself using a thousand words were one would suffice but it’s no good, I can’t put it off anymore. It’s time to loose my Virginia tobacco.

    Katie and I choose our branded drug of choice. It is easy really. Kate used to smoke them and I used to market them… Marlboro Lights (No mention of ‘Light’ on the pack since 2002, Kate notices this for the first time. In the industry we renamed them Marlboro Gold). She takes her last cigarette and places it between her lips. She presents the flame from the newly filled Zippo lighter to the cigarette and slowly inhales the smoke for the last time. She then reluctantly hands it over to me.

    I’m such a dork, I’m not even sure how to hold it but suck on it all the same. The smoke gets in my eye. I inhale and exhale. To my surprise it goes down relatively well but it’s not natural to me to take the smoke down and I really have to concentrate during the whole process.

    Smoke Swap Perry Stevens Katie Piper

    Katie PiperPerry Stevens

    I repeat the action again but this time I start to cough and my heart starts to race. On the third pull now and I’m feeling light headed and now my legs feel as though they could buckle. Thank f**k I’m sitting down.

    I’m talking bollocks, ten to the dozen with a heady mix of adrenalin, nicotine and fear.

    There it is, I’ve done it. I’ve smoked my first cigarette. It wasn’t behind the bike sheds. I didn’t have to buy a packet of mints to disguise my odious breath from my parents and I don’t have to do this again.

    Fifteen minutes later we are posing for still photographs so I light my second cigarette. I sit by the window nonchalantly flicking my ash out of the window.

    The reality of it all is I’m holding on for dear life as I don’t want to faint and fall out the third floor window to the ground below. We all know smoking kills but today isn’t a good day to die. This isn’t good. It isn’t good at all.

    I’m burning up. My face drains of colour then I break out into a sweat. I dare not move, my legs have turned to jelly and I’ve shut up talking. The dialogue now is all in my head. ‘Don’t be sick, don’t be sick’ I repeat over and over again internally. You don’t have to be in the medical profession to see I look what is commonly described as ‘F**ked!’

    What is this? I’m supposed to be free, a rebel without a cause, a real man. That’s what seventy years of marketing has sold me but here I am, sick and quite on a sofa feeling like a weak and worthless individual. I’m embarrassed and distressed. I sit quite still but for the party in my guts. This is one party I don’t want spilling out onto the streets of East London. I remain in the same position for over an hour occasionally taking small tastes of cold water.

    Smoke Swap Katie Piper Perry Stevens Current TV

    Smoke Swap is going to be tough. I’ve really underestimated what I was taking on. I know the body is very adaptable but I question myself why would I want to subject it to this misery every day. I must be f**king mad.

    So I find my way back home and to bed. I can’t face another cigarette today. I’m up at 3:30am to catch a plane to Italy. Hopefully the Tuscanny sun will shine on me and tomorrow will be a better day.

    >> Get Help and Advice to Quit Smoking Now! <<

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  • 29/5/07 Katie Piper- 1 Day to Give Up Smoking

    Well I never thought I’d see this day. The day when me and you are finally thru!

    We’ve been through a lot, you’ve been there to calm me down when I’m stressed, put me at ease when I’m nervous and you defiantly are the perfect company when having a glass of wine.

    But sadly my friend our time is up, now ever the optimist, I am looking forward to:

    * Fresher breath (and hopefully an improved love life)

    * Nails that aren’t always sporting that yellow ‘Nan’ manicure effect.

    * Climbing the stairs without feeling suffocated!

    Hey I’m nearly convincing myself this is a good thing! So Mr. Marlboro Light it is with haste I say goodbye to you. Now I’ve got to admit this whole experiment is giving me the jitters, for years I’ve been boasting, telling friends I’m not addicted, I’m a social smoker, can quit whenever I want, then the bombshell dropped, my dear friend Perry Stevens asks me to quit! I get that feeling of dread from top to toe, smile sweetly and say ‘sure no probs’, but racing thru my mind is ‘oh my god, I can’t do this’, does this mean I really am an addict? My worst fears confirmed!

    Katie Piper To Stop Smoking Now

    Katie Piper

    The word addicted makes my mind work over time conjuring up all sorts of imagery, will I be sniffing people out in the street offering 50 pence for a drag on their cigarette, will I suffer withdrawal, good god even the shakes! How un-desirable!

    I’m hoping I will come out of this unscathed and be able to join that elite set of folk that is the ‘non smokers’, fellow smokers we all know who those elites are, the ones who look down their nose at you in a restaurant as they sip on their anti- chemical/anti-death green tea, the sparkly pleasant scented sort who shun you in bars as you spark up with the complimentary matches (you know the ones that always snap!)

    So look out for me in a bar near you soon, ill be the one sat in the corner chewing my nails and gum whilst peeling the label off my beer bottle! Wish me luck my friends!

    Do you need help to stop smoking? Click here for more information about quit smoking today!

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  • Monday 14th May Perry

    Listening to: Portishead – Humming

    Emotion – relaxed

    Days until smoke down – 7

    Wow, what a day and I’m not referring to the bloody weather. But Barh! The bloody weather. It feels like I’ve called or wrote to every doctor, professor, hospital or medical agency in the book today after finding out the doctor I thought was on board is no longer on board. But good news came my way by way of a phone call during a meeting with my editor. Fingers crossed but we could be back on track. Oh sunny days!

    Prior to that, I met up with Neil Boorman to discuss producing a short retrospective documentary about The Bonfire of the Brands www.bonfireofthebrands.com. We first met when I was marketing Marlboro cigarettes. Today we met in Soho in a non-branded tea and patisserie shop for afternoon tea and patisseries and discussed his fascinating project and how since the burning he has lived a no brand existence.

    His book is out in September and will make essential reading. I think a copy should be given away to every reader of Heat magazine!

    He’s been burning one brand for years – Marlboro Lights, but not any more!

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  • Here’s is an interesting pop quiz you can do to test your knowledge on smoking and the tobacco industry.

    Scroll down to the end for the answers.

    Q1. Marlboro cigarettes global annual sales exceed…

    A. $15 Billion                                                 B. $5 Million

    C. $ 10Million                                                 D. $10 Billion

     

    Q2. How many cigarette related deaths are there in the UK per year?

    A. 12,000                                                        B. 20,000

    C. 100,000                                                      D. 120,000

     

    Q3. How many compounds or additives are there in a cigarette?

    A. 600                                                             B. 160

    C. 60                                                               D. 600

     

    Q4. When a cigarette is burnt, how many toxic and/or chemical compounds are made?

    A. 1000                                                           B. 2000

    C. 4000                                                           D. 10,000

     

    Q5. Which country is the largest importer of American style tobacco?

    A. UK                                                             B. USA

    B. Brazil                                                         D. China

     

    Q6. How many cigarette filters are estimated to be found as litter in the westernised world?

    A. 4.5 Thousand                                             B. 4.5 Million

    C. 4.5 Billion                                                   D. 4.5 Trillion 

     

    Q7. Predicted deaths from smoking for the year 2030 are…

    A. 4 Million                                                     B. 6 Million

    C. 8 Million                                                     D. 10 Million

     

    Q8. Brazilian tobacco farmers have a higher than average suicide rate from the rest of the country. Is the rate…

    A. 3 x Higher                                                  B. 5 x Higher

    B. 7 x Higher                                                  D. 10 x Higher 

     

    Q9. The first country in the world to ban the sale of tobacco and smoking in public places is…

    A. Australia                                                     B. Bhutan

    C. Ireland                                                       D. Canada

     

    Q10. Bidis are…

    A. Old people                                                 B. A healthy cigarette

    C. An unfiltered cigarette                                 D. A sweet 

     

    Q11. Philip Morris’s Youth Smoking Prevention Program advertisement on MTV Europe was called…

    A. You don’t have to smoke to be cool          B. Don’t do it!

    C. Cool it… a smoke?                                   D. I’m cool, I just can’t help it.

     

    Q12. Since the ban on tobacco advertising in the UK in 2003 how many new brands have Philip Morris launched?

    A. 0                                                                 B. 1

    C. 2                                                                 D. 3 

    your basic cigarette message

    Answers

    Q1 (A) Philip Morris manufactures, markets, sells and distributes in more than 160 countries.

    Q2 (D) 120,000 deaths a year is equivalent to the population of a town the size of Norwich or Chester.

    Q3 (A) Arsenic (Rat Poison), Formaldehyde (Body Preservative), Acetone (Nail Polish Remover), Hexamine ( BBQ Lighter), Cadmium ( Rechargeable Batteries), Lead (Petrol Fumes) Methanol (Rocket Fuel) and Ammonia (Household Cleaner) are all found in cigarettes.

    Q4 (C) The additives used in the manufacture of cigarettes are government approved for food. However, they were not tested by burning them. It is the burning of the substances that changes their properties. Many of these chemicals are carcinogenic. i.e. cause cancer.

    Q5 (B) Tobacco companies now grow and manufacture cigarettes in developing countries where overheads are less, markets are larger and anti tobacco legislation is almost non-existent.

    Q6 (D) Cigarette filters are not biodegradable as cellulose acetate; a form of plastic, is one of the components that make up the butt and never breaks down.

    Q7 (D) 70% of these deaths will be in developing countries.

    Q8 (B) A link was found between organophosphate pesticides and skyrocketing suicides which coincided with the seeding and harvesting of tobacco crops in Venancio Aires.

    Q9 (B) The Himalayan kingdom of 900,000 people banned tobacco use in early 2005 as part of its continuing tobacco-free initiative programme.

    Q10 (C) Imported from India, these cigarettes contain tobacco but are wrapped in nonporous leaves and sold in a variety of flavours such as strawberry, mango and vanilla. Bidis are referred to as cigarettes with training wheels by health authorities.

    Q11 (A) This initiative is dwarfed by corporate sponsorship, marketing and point of sale activity at rock concerts, formula 1 and sporting events.

    Q12 (C) Basic and Marlboro Blend 28 have both been successfully launched in the dark market post advertising ban.

     

     Have you got what it takes to be a tobacco executive?

    >> Take this cool interactive quiz  at www.thetruth.com Now <<

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  • The major tobacco industry players are…

    Philip Morris Ltd. Owned by Altria Inc.

    Brands include – Marlboro, Raffles, Basic and Philip Morris.

    1) The company manufactures, markets sells/distributes in more than 160 countries.

    2) Produces 7 of the top 20 best selling global cigarette brands.

    3) Collectively accounts for 18% of the global cigarette market.

    4) Marlboro is one of only 2 brands with global sales exceeding $15bn per annum

    The Marlboro Man advertising campaign by the Leo Burnett Agency is widely acknowledged as one of the all time most successful advertising campaigns. Ads  depicted nothing much to do with cigarettes (i.e. paper rolled around dried leaves), but propelled the brand to the forefront of premium cigarettes market. 

    British American Tobacco / Rothmans

    Brands include – Lucky Strike, Dunhill, Rothmans and Royals

    1) The company operates in more than 150 countries.

     Reynolds American Inc.

    Brand include – Winston Salem

    Gallaher

    Brands include – Benson & Hedges, Silk Cut, Berkeley, Sovereign, Dorchester and Mayfair.

    Imperial Tobacco

    Brands include – Embassy, Regal, Superkings, Lambert & Butler and Richmond.

    Tobacco companies such as BAT and Philip Morris both run Youth Smoking prevention programs as part of their corporate social agenda. The ‘you don’t have to smoke to be cool’ advert was shown on MTV Europe, minimum age notices are placed in points of purchase and the brand logo is not sold on caps and t-shirt.

    Smoke Free Kids

    However these initiatives are dwarfed by corporate sponsorship, marketing and point of sale activity of rock concerts, Formula 1 and other motor sports. These events are attended predominately by young people whose perception of rock stars or the motor racing champion is one of cool and glamorous, who lives an inspirational lifestyle all young people can only dream off.

    The reality of driving for most people is one of congestion, frustration and pollution. Cars have always been sold on an image of open roads, hassle free driving and freedom to travel. These associations have always been the Marlboro Mans identity. Sponsoring motor-sport has taken the campaign yet another step forward from the days of the cowboy.

    Rock ‘n’ Roll stars have always been aligned with rebellion, free wheeling, on the edge and everything the previous generation despises. Again these are all qualities young people identify with and want to be a part off. These qualities are coincidentally the same as the Marlboro Man myth.

    The reality the original Marlboro Men, Wayne McLaren, is that he succumbed to lung cancer and died at the age of 51. McLaren’s brother provided a voiceover over a withered image of Wayne in a hospital bed prior to his death asking the question ‘Lying there with all those tubes in you, how independent can you really be?

    Cigarette girls are used extensively to reinforce the brand in bars clubs, high profile events, parties, film premiers, fashion shows, concerts, festivals and restaurants. Although giving away free product to customers is no longer prohibited selling them at a great reduction isn’t. There is also the perceived association of beautiful models and cigarettes, the image of glamour is aspirational and being at all the right places. It sends out a message that if you smoke you can be ‘hot like me’. Again associating cigarettes to sexy, young and glamorous women enforces the image the brands try to portray. It is the wrong message to send out when about one fifth of 15 year olds are regular smokers, with the number of girls lighting up outnumbering boys. Most of the girls I knew who promoted cigarettes in bars don’t actually smoke.

    The image of smoking in the all media is still perceived as cool. From 50’s stars such as James Dean (Rebel Without a Cause), to Michael Caine (Get Carter) right through to today’s blockbusters starring Brad Pitt (Fight Club) and John Travolta (Swordfish). These stars are immortalized in film images that are so strong the picture could be still endorsing cigarettes as a ‘cool thing’ 50 or 100 years from now in cinemas and in your home on DVD.

    Bogey smoking

        Smoking celebrities

    John Wayne Marlboro Man

    Dirk Bogart           Celebrities           John Wayne

    Throughout the 90’s the TV and film franchise ‘The X Files’ contained a character played by the non-smoking actor – William B Davis called ‘Cancer Man.’ The Fox TV publicity department were more PC and referred to the character as ‘Cigarette Smoking Man.’

    For film directors today to reinforce the image of smoking as a cool character trait is morally irresponsible, lazy and shows a great lack of imagination.

     Smoking Pete Docherty

    Kate Moss smokes

    Jonny vegas Smokes

    jodie Marsh smoking

    Certain celebrities revel in their ability to smoke cigarettes like it’s a badge of honor. The problem is in these days when celebrity is celebrated and impressionable young people readily buy into it, promoting smoking is not only irresponsible but stupid. Not all the blame can be laid at the door of this or that celerity. The media should be more careful of what photographs and images they choose to reproduce.

    Brad Pitt smokes the-first-wives-club smoking

    indy-car- sponsored by Marlboro

    holy-smokes Madonna

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  • Killing your customers is not generally considered a good business practise, but tobacco companies seem to excel in this field. 

    Associated health problems attributed to the smoking of cigarettes prior to the 1930’s were unknown. ‘Doctor Recommended’ and ‘Good for Digestion’ advertisements were common in the 1920’s. Then in 1932 a paper published by the American Journal of Cancer made the connection between cigarettes and cancer. 

    Many more papers were subsequently released, solidifying the health issues from cigarettes. By 1957 the Surgeon General (USA) became involved with the issues and by 1964 he had filed an official report connecting cigarettes to cancer.

    In the early 70’s a Smoking Act was passed by the US Congress, TV bans and warning labels were brought into effect. Within the space of four decades the image of cigarettes had changed. Smokers (the minority) still believe it’s their right to smoke, not the non-smokers (the majority) right to breathe clean air. On 1st July 2001 smoking will be banned in all public places in the UK following successful bans already in place in Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

    Way back in 1973 warning labels were introduced and the first ban on smoking in a public place was introduced in Arizona. California, New York State and Ireland followed suit years later. Other countries throughout the European Union are now lining up to back a ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces

    In 1984 warning labels were changed on the packet of cigarettes. Meanwhile in Canada, Brazil, Singapore and Thailand packs already contained graphic coloured images with additional health warnings. Ireland and Belgium have indicated that they will introduce some of the 42 images approved by the EU in the near future. 

                                                       Leo Bennett      Leo Burnett     

                 marlboro the original cigarette

                             ’Original’ Marlboro                       

    Philip Morris used the Leo Burnett Company in 1955 to develop a ‘minor cigarette brand with a predominately feminine image and turned it in to a big seller by using close-up photos of ruggedly handsome men’, The ‘Marlboro Man’ arguably the most successful marketing campaign ever, took the idea of smoking and linked it with the image of rebellion, freedom and personal choice. Thus, any attacks made on smokers or smoking becomes an issue of losing that freedom or the government interfering in the personal choices of the people. This changed somewhat in 1993 when passive smoking or second hand smoke was recognised as a cause of cancer. The issues of freedom to smoke and personal choice changed to one of injuring others.

                Smoking Marlboro Man

          Marlboro Man circa 1955     

    Smoking Marlboro Cowboy

          Marlboro cowboy circa 1956     

    Smoking Marlboro Cowboy 1973

    Smoking Marlboro Country

    Marlboro Country circa 1973

       Ronald Reagan in Cigarette Ad

     marlboro smoking cowboy

    marlboro rodeo

    Marlboro menthol cigarette ad

    The tobacco companies answered by employing marketing strategies for a healthier cigarette, this started in 1952 with the introduction of filters. 1.3% of cigarette sales had filters in this year but by 1956 over 25% had filters. Now almost all cigarettes sold are filtered. The next step in the elusive search for the healthy cigarette occurred in the 70’s with the introduction of the ‘Tar Wars’. Arguable the most famous brand created was ‘Marlboro Lights.’ The words Light and Medium were outlawed in 2002 in the UK. Cigarette tar and nicotine yields are measured by machines that smoke but bear little relation to the way humans smoke cigarettes. However it is widely perceived that a Light alternative is safer but there is no evidence to support this.

    The continuation of marketing ‘Marlboro Man’ and ‘Marlboro Country’ saw the emphasis shift from the product to one were a cigarette or pack of cigarettes had completely disappeared from the advertisements and now the focus was on satisfaction and taste. The whole appeal of the product is one of rebellion and freedom. Marlboro ads no longer sell a product but sell an image.

    As the Western worlds taste for cigarettes diminishes with the knowledge of cancer and the new legislation against tobacco smoking in public places and raising the age to buy from 16 to 18, the tobacco companies shift their emphasis to new and emerging markets in developing countries. Not unlike other corporations who set up sweat shops in Free Trade Zones throughout the developing world, the tobacco companies are also taking advantage of cheap labour and land and take with them a whole new set of health, environmental and social problems. Although cigarette sales in the western world have diminished the tobacco companies report bigger profits year on year, but at what cost to public health and the environment?

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  • January 2007 Perry

    Invited over to Mumbai International Film Festival India to promote King of Kommunication, a short film I made the summer before. While there I looked into the marketing and advertising of cigarettes.

     Cigarettes in a Mumbai Chemist

     Cigarettes on sale in a Chemists – Mumbai India 2007

    cigarette advertising in India

    Cigarette advertising in Mumbai 

     Advertisement above the Chemist door – Mumbai India 2007

     Roadside cigarette vendor Mumbia

     In a roadside kiosk cigarettes are sold alongside soda and sweets – Mumbai India 2007

     cigarettes indiaMarlboro cigarette advertisment Mumbai

    Marlboro and Four Square cigarette advertisement above a roadside kiosk – Mumbai India 2007

    Indian cigarette displaycigarette bar display

    Typical bar display cabinets of cigarettes – Mumbai India 2007

     cigarette menu Mumbai

      20 B&H cost less than £1.50 UKP in a bar – Mumbai India 2007

    Having heard horror stories about wild-west attitudes to marketing cigarettes in India it was reassuring to see the Indian government had stringent laws and restrictions in place against this. Although you can smoke in bars and restaurants (only inconsiderate bastards smoke in restaurants but there are still people out there arrogant enough to do so – Wankers!) advertising is largely restricted to point of sale.

    Anti smoking advertisements were also played before movies in all cinemas. The audience seemed to enjoy King of Kommunication. Well they laughed in all the right places!

    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsep9lBr82Q

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  • Tuesday 22 March 2005 Perry

    Day two back at PM HQ. Boring SMS training today, I definitely can’t take any more of this. The team has been informed we will be selling Special Edition stock directly to On-Trade customers from now on. Everyone left early and NJ wasn’t in today so at the end of play I approached LR. She said she was to busy when I requested a meeting but agreed to talk on the way to the car park. So I told her in the car park I was quitting, I was pro smoking bans and do not want to sell cigarettes.

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