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Cigarette History

Cigarette History  -  Cigarette History
Cigarettes have existed in the history of mankind since the historical days. The first cigarette that rolls up with tobacco happened when Christopher Columbus' people met the red Indians on Cuba in 1942. The word tobacco originated from Indians' words: tobago and tobacca. Tobacco is related to garden vegetables, flowers, weeds, and poisonous herbs such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, petunias, jimson wood, ground cherries, and nightshade.
Originally, Native Americans in the eastern United States grew Nicotiana rustica, which was the first form of tobacco introduced in England and Portugal. N. Tabacam, first introduced to the Spanish, was obtained from Mexico and South America. It has been the preferred tobacco since settlers in Jamestown, Virginia, began growing it,
Why Do We Smoke? 
from The Psychology of Everyday Living by Ernest Dichter 1947 
None of the much flaunted appeals of cigarette advertisers, such as superior taste and mildness, induces us to become smokers or to choose one brand in preference to another. Despite the emphasis put on such qualities by advertisers, they are minor considerations. This is one of the first facts we discovered when we asked several hundred people, from all walks of life, why they liked to smoke cigarettes. Smoking is as much a psychological pleasure as it is a physiological satisfaction. As one of our respondents explained: Cigarette History
Cigarette History Cigarettes have existed in the history of mankind since the historical days. The first cigarette that rolls up with tobacco happened when Christopher Columbus’ people met the red Indians on Cuba in 1942. The word tobacco originated from Indians’ words: tobago and tobacca. Tobacco is related to garden vegetables, flowers, weeds, and poisonous herbs such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, petunias, jimson wood, ground cherries, and nightshade. Originally, Native Americans in the eastern United States grew Nicotiana rustica, which was the first form of tobacco introduced in England and Portugal. N. Tabacam, first introduced to the Spanish, was obtained from Mexico and South America. It has been the preferred tobacco since settlers in Jamestown, Virginia, began growing it, Why Do We Smoke? from The Psychology of Everyday Living by Ernest Dichter 1947 None of the much flaunted appeals of cigarette advertisers, such as superior taste and mildness, induces us to become smokers or to choose one brand in preference to another. Despite the emphasis put on such qualities by advertisers, they are minor considerations. This is one of the first facts we discovered when we asked several hundred people, from all walks of life, why they liked to smoke cigarettes. Smoking is as much a psychological pleasure as it is a physiological satisfaction. As one of our respondents explained: “It is not the taste that counts. It’s that sense of satisfaction you get from a cigarette that you can’t get from anything else.” Smoking is Fun What is the nature of this psychological pleasure? It can be traced to the universal desire for self-expression. None of us ever completely outgrows his childhood. We are constantly hunting for the carefree enjoyment we knew as children. As we grew older, we had to subordinate our pleasures to work and to the necessity for unceasing effort. Smoking, for many of us, then, became a substitute for our early habit of following the whims of the moment; it becomes a legitimate excuse for interrupting work and snatching a moment of pleasure. “You sometimes get tired of working intensely,” said an accountant whom we interviewed, “and if you sit back for the length of a cigarette, you feel much fresher afterwards. It’s a peculiar thing, but I wouldn’t think of just sitting back without a cigarette. I guess a cigarette somehow gives me a good excuse.” “I Blow My Troubles Away” In times of high tension, cigarettes provide relief, as indicated by the following typical comments of one of our respondents: “When I have a problem, and it comes back and back, warningly saying, ‘Well, what are you going to do about this?’ a cigarette almost acts like a consolation. Somehow it relieves the pressure on my chest. The feeling of relief is almost like what you feel in your chest after you have cried because something has hurt you very much. Relaxing is not the right kind of word for that feeling. It is like having been in a stuffy room for a long time and at last getting out for a deep breath of air.” That man’s explanation comes very close to stating the scientific reason why smoking brings relief. Worry, anxiety, depress us not only psychologically but also physiologically. When a person feels depressed, the rhythm of his breathing becomes upset. A short and shallow breath creates a heavy feeling in the chest. Smoking may relieve mental depression by forcing a rhythmic expansion of the breast and thus restoring the normal pace of breathing. The “weight on the chest” is removed. This connection between smoking and respiration accounts for the common expression, “Smoking helps us to let off steam.” When we are enraged, we breathe heavily. Smoking makes us breath more steadily, and thus calms us down. Cigarette Taste Has to Be Acquired Most people like the smell of tobacco but dislike the taste of a cigarette. Frequently we were reminded that “a cigarette never tastes as good as it smells. One usually very much dislikes his first cigarette. Taste for cigarettes must be acquired slowly. And whenever a smoker tries out a new brand, with a lightly different taste, he finds that he has to repeat this process of becoming accustomed to the taste. Often smokers who say they do not like the taste of certain brands really mean that they are not accustomed to it. Few advertisers of cigarettes realize that it takes time for a smoker to change his taste habits. No matter how pleasant the taste qualities of a brand may seem to be, at first the unaccustomed taste will be disliked. One of our respondents made the following interesting comment on this point: “I went to Bulgaria once and was forced to smoke Bulgarian cigarettes. I tried one brand after another till I had gone through five brands. Finally, the sixth brand seemed to be perfect. I discovered much later that any of the other brands might have become my preferred brand if only I had tried it in the sixth place. It just took me that long to learn to appreciate Bulgarian tobacco.” How Many a Day? Despite all the millions spent on comparing the potentially harmful effects of different brands of cigarettes, our respondents seemed very little concerned about this matter. But all of them, even those who do not smoke excessively, worry about the quantities they smoke. Scientific and medical studies on the physiological effects of smoking provide a confused picture: Some conclude that smoking is harmful; others deny it. This same confusion prevails among smokers themselves. Nevertheless, all of them worry about smoking too many cigarettes, as shown by the fact that nearly everyone has tried, at one time or another, to “cut down on” smoking. “I’ll tell you something I do,” one smoker confided. “I give up smoking cigarettes every year for one month, and I say to myself that I’ll prove to myself I can still do without them.” Periodic abstemiousness of this kind indicates an underlying feeling of guilt. Such individuals really think that constant smoking is not only harmful, but also a bit immoral. Efforts to reduce the amount of smoking signify a willingness to sacrifice pleasure in order to assuage their feeling of guilt. The mind has a powerful influence on the body, and may produce symptoms of physical illness. Guilt feelings may cause harmful physical effects not at all caused by the cigarettes used, which may be extremely mild. Such guilt feelings alone may be the real cause of the injurious consequences. The First Cigarette Much of this guilt feeling can be treated directly to one’s first cigarette, which the older generation remember as a forbidden and sinful thing. Their fathers considered the habit an educational problem, whereas many parents nowadays have adopted a “modern” attitude toward smoking. Here is what one such father said: “I told my son I thought he was a little young… He is seventeen. It might not do him any harm to wait another year or two. Then I remembered my own first cigarette and what awful stuff I had to smoke in secret. In a way, my son is lucky to be able to start with a good cigarette without running the danger of ruining his health. I gave him a pack of the brand I smoke.” Most of us remember vividly the first cigarette we smoked. “I certainly remember my first cigarette,” said one of our respondents. “We were a bunch of boys on our way to a football game. I had trouble lighting my cigarette, and at that moment a man passed by and yelled at me: ‘Throw that cigarette away, you rascal!’ I was so shocked and frightened that I obeyed his command without hesitation. But only a few minutes later, I lighted another one just to demonstrate to myself that I was not afraid. “No, Thanks, I’ll Smoke My Own” This is the reply of most smokers when they are offered a brand different from their own. Brand loyalty among smokers is strong and persistent. Individuals smoke one brand consistently, so that they become identified with it. A guest who discovers that his host smokes the same brand considers this a personal flattery. If a young lady changes to the brand of an admirer, he understands that he has surely made an impression. Here is the experience of one young man, and his interpretation of it: “I was very fond of a girl. She was giving a farewell party before leaving the country. I didn’t have any idea how I stood in her affection. The only clue was that at her party she had my brand of cigarettes. I always felt that that was in deference to me.” “My brand” has a special significance, as if it were a part of the smoker’s credo and personality. A Package of Pleasure A new pack of cigarettes gives one a pleasant feeling. A full, firm pack in the hand signifies that one is provided for, and gives satisfaction, whereas an almost empty pack creates a feeling of want and gives a unpleasant impression. The empty pack gives us a feeling of real frustration and deprivation. During the seventeenth century, religious leaders and statesmen in many countries condemned the use of tobacco. Smokers were excommunicated by the Church and some of them were actually condemned to death and executed. But the habit of smoking spread rapidly all over the world. The psychological pleasures derived proved much more powerful than religious, moral, and legal persuasions. As in the case of the prohibition experiment in the United States, repressive measures seem to have aroused a spirit of popular rebellion and helped to increase the use of tobacco. If we consider all the pleasure and advantages provided, in a most democratic and international fashion, by this little white paper roll, we shall understand why it is difficult to destroy its power by means of warnings, threats. This pleasure miracle has so much to offer that we can safely predict the cigarette is here to stay. Our psychological analysis is not intended as a eulogy of the habit of smoking, but rather as an objective report on why people smoke cigarettes. Perhaps this will seem more convincing if we reveal a personal secret: We ourselves do not smoke at all. We may be missing a great deal. Tobacco Origins and History • Prehistoric Conjectures: Small amounts of nicotine may have been present in certain Old World plants, including Belladonna and Nicotiana Africana, and nicotine byproducts have been found in human remains and smoking paraphenalia in the Africa and the Near East, there is no proof of habitual tobacco use in the Ancient world, on any continent except the New World. • 6000 BC: Historians believe the tobacco plant, as we know it today, begins growing in the New World. • 1st Century BC: Historians believe Native American have begun using tobacco, including smoking, chewing and perhaps in hallucinogenic enemas. • 1st Century AD: Tobacco was ubiquitous in the Americas. • 600-1000 AD: In Guatemala, first pictorial representations of smoking tobacco: A pottery vessel found here dates from before the 11th century. On a Maya piece of pottery, a Mayan is depicted smoking a roll of tobacco leaves bound together with a string. Post Columbian Tobacco History in the Western Culture • On October 12, 1492, Columbus is introduced to tobacco by the locals in the New World. He is given dried leaves and throws them away. • On October 15, 1492, In his journal, Columbus mentions tobacco for the first time. He states that it is held in high value amongst the natives. • November 1492, Rodrigo de Jerez and Luis de Torres first observe the native smoking ritual and try it themselves. Jerez becomes the first smoker of western decent. • In 1497, the smoking by New World natives of tobacco is first reported in Europe. • In 1498, Columbus sails to Tobago and names it after the native pipe used to smoke tobacco. • In 1531, Europeans begin growing tobacco on Santo Domingo. • In 1535, Jacques Cartier observes natives on the Isle of Montreal smoking tobacco. • In 1548, the Portuguese begin to grow tobacco for export in Brazil. • In 1556, tobacco is first brought to France. • In 1558, tobacco is first brought to Spain and Portugal. • In 1565, tobacco is first brought into England by Sir John Hawkins. • In 1573, Sir Francis Drake returns to England from the Americas with ‘Nicotina tobacum’. • In 1585, Sir Walter Raleigh has his first tobacco experience thanks to Sir Francis Drake. • In 1595, the first english language book is published about tobacco. 1600’s • In 1600, Sir Walter Raleigh gets Queen Elizabeth to try smoking tobacco. • In 1604, King James I raises import tax on tobacco 4,000%, from 2 pence/lb to 6 shillings 10 pence/lb. He also writes a piece blasting tobacco use. • In 1610, Sir Francis Bacon writes that tobacco use is on the upswing and that it is a habit hard to stop practicing. • In 1612, John Rolfe grew the first Virginia tobacco crop that was deemed successful. • In 1614, first Virginia tobacco is sold in England. • In 1614, in Spain, Seville is decreed the center of cigar making for spanish grown, New World tobacco. The poor, using left over tobacco from cigars, make the first cigarettes to be smoked in europe. • December 4, 1619, In Virginia, the first american Thanksgiving, thrown to celebrate a good tobacco crop. • In 1624, New York City is founded. Specifically the present day Greenwich Village area was for the native indian a place to grow tobacco. • In 1636, In Spain, the oldest tobacco company is founded – Tabacalera. • In 1674, smoking tobacco in Russia can result in the death penalty. • In 1676, in Russia, ban on smoking lifted. 1700’s • Napoleon reportedly used 7 pounds of snuff per month. • Lung cancer is first described. A rare disease at that time. Or perhaps, rarely diagnosed? • In 1730, first New World tobacco factories spring up in Virginia to make snuff. • In 1759, George Washington harvests his first tobacco crop. It is deemed substandard and Washington is deeply in debt by 1761. In 1760, Lorrilard, the oldest american tobacco company establishes factory in New York city. • In 1770, the first tobacco shop is established in Lancaster, PA. • In 1776, the Revolutionary War, also known as the Tobacco War commences. Americans use tobacco to build credits with which to finance the war. • In 1794, in America, the first excise tax is imposed. It equals 60% of the price of the tobacco (snuff only). 1800’s • French prostitutes are the first women seen smoking in public in France. • In 1805-1807, Nicotine, the chemical compound is first isolated. • In 1820, first american women observed smoking in public in Santa Fe. • In 1826, England is importing only 26 lbs of cigars per year. By 1830, England is importing 250,000 lbs per year. • In 1828, first complete pharmacological treatise completed on nicotine. It was concluded to be dangerous. • In 1843, the correct molecular formula for nicotine established. • In 1847, Philip Morris is open for business in England. They sell hand rolled Turkish cigarettes. • In 1852, matches are introduced making smoking a lot easier. • In 1854, Philip Morris begins making its own cigarettes in London, on Bond Street. • In 1860, manufactured cigarettes make their debut. • In 1862, first federal tax on cigarettes. Thought to be imposed to help pay for civil war. • In 1864, first federal excise tax on cigarettes. • In 1873, Philip Morris dies. • In 1875, $75,000 offered for first practical cigarette rolling machine. • In the 1880’s, Benson and Hedges opens tobacco shop in London. • In 1881, Philip Morris sells stock to the public. • In 1890, USA per capita consumption of chewing tobacco peaked at 3 lbs. • In 1892, book matches are invented but fail to catch on(but not on fire). • In 1893, nicotine is first synthesized. In 1893, the state of Washington bans the use and sale of cigarettes. Later overturned on restraint of free trade argument. • In 1894, Brown and Williamson formed in Winston-Salem, NC. • In 1895, first motion picture advertisement made. It was a cigarettes ad. • In 1898, a total ban on cigarettes is upheld in the Tennessee supreme court. • In 1899, RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, Inc. is formed. 1900’s • By 1900, Iowa, Washington, Tennessee and North Dakota have banned the sale of cigarettes. • In 1900, 4.4 billion cigarettes are sold. • In 1901, by royal decree, Philip Morris & Co. is appointed as royal tobacconist for King Edward VII. • In 1901, 6 billion cigars are smoked. 80% of american men smoke at least one cigar per day. • In 1904, cigarette coupons first used to promote sales. • In 1906, Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company is established. • In 1908, Canada bans the sale of cigarettes to anyone under the age of 16 years. The ban is not enforced. • In 1909, 15 states have prohibited the sale of cigarettes. • In 1911, tobacco cultivation is allowed in England for the first time in over 250 years. • In 1912, Diamond Company makes first practical book matches. • In 1912, first scientific link drawn between smoking and cancer. • In 1913, RJ Reynolds debuts Camel cigarettes. • In 1914, smoking is prohibited in the chambers of the US Senate. • In 1914, 24,000 cigar factories in the USA. This marks the high point. • In 1919, rolling tobacco sales surpassed by manufactured cigarettes for the first time. • In 1920, per capita consumption of cigarettes is 419. Of cigars, 80. • In 1921, Iowa becomes the first state to add its own tax. • In 1922, RJR becomes the #1 tobacco company. • In 1923, Camel has 45% of the US market. • In 1927, Kansas become first state to drop its ban on cigarettes. • In 1929, Philip Morris buys its first manufacturing plant — in Virginia. • In 1930, German scientists find statistical correlation between smoking and cancer. • In 1932, Blaisdell invents Zippo lighter. • In 1933, first government price supports for tobacco farmers. • In 1933, Kool cigarettes first come to market. • In 1933, Cigarettes first appear on shelves in ‘carton’ form. • In 1939, Fortune magazine says 53% of adult males smoke in the USA. • In 1940, it is reported that cigarette consumption has almost doubled in ten years. • In 1945, in post-war Germany, cigarettes become the unofficial currency, valued at 50 cents each. • In 1949, it’s reported that one in three women smoke. • In 1951, Winston cigarettes introduced to market. • In 1952, Kent cigarettes, with its asbestos filter, debuts. • In 1953, the American Medical Association bans cigarette advertisement in its publications. • In 1954, cigarette companies take out ads refuting that cigarettes can cause lung cancer. • In 1954, RJR is sued by spouse for causing husband’s cancer and subsequent death. Court rules RJR not responsible. • In 1954, the Marlboro cowboy created for advertising. Marlboro has about 1% of the market. • In 1954, first product liability case brought against a tobacco company. Philip Morris prevailed but not until 1962. • In 1956, Lorillard discontinues the Micronite filter in Kent cigarettes(the one with asbestos). • In 1956, RJR debuts Salem cigarettes. • In 1957, the relationship between smoking pregnant mothers and under-weight infants is asserted in medical journal. • In 1960, Pall Mall becomes the top selling brand. It will remain so until 1966. • In 1960, first litigation lost by a tobacco company in another cancer case. In retrial, tobacco company prevails. • In 1963, the ‘Marlboro Man’ becomes the only character to sell Marlboros in Philip Morris’ ad campaigns • In 1964, first Surgeon General’s report to link cigarette smoking to lung cancer. • In 1964, Philip Morris comes out with ‘Marlboro Country’ ads. Sales start growing at 10% per year. • In 1965, United Kingdom bans cigarette advertisements on television. • In 1966, health warning labels on cigarette packages begin. • In 1968, Virginia Slims debut. Ads clearly target women. • In 1968, Philip Morris revenues top the $1 billion mark. • In 1969, Consumer advocate, Ralph Nader, asks for a ban on smoking on airlines. Pan Am creates first no smoking section. • In 1970, top selling brand is Winston. • In 1970, the first ‘Great American Smokeout’ takes place. • In 1970, TWA becomes the first airline to have no smoking sections on all of its flights. • In 1970, president signs bill banning advertising of cigarettes on TV and radio. • In 1971, ban on TV advertising goes into affect. Advertisers lose $220 million per year. • In 1972, Philip Morris revenues go past $2 billion mark. • In 1972, Marlboro becomes the best selling brand. • In 1972, Marlboro Lights hit the market. • In 1973, Arizona passes first laws prohibiting smoking in public places. • In 1973, US government mandate nonsmoking area on all airlines. • In 1975, US military halts the distribution of free cigarettes in K-rations and C-rations. • In 1975, Marlboros overtake Winston as the best selling brand in the USA. • In 1976, Philip Morris takes in over $4 billion in sales. • In 1979, Philip Morris sales top $8 billion. • In 1980, Philip Morris sales over $10 billion. • In 1981, cigarette consumption peaks. • In 1981, insurance companies begin selling life insurance to nonsmokers at a reduced rate. • In 1983, in San Francisco, law banning smoking in private workplaces is passed. In 1985, Philip Morris buys General Foods. Now owns 7-up and Miller • Brewing as well. • In 1986, Cuba’s leader, Fidel Castro stops smoking cigars for health related reasons. • In 1987, smoking banned on domestic flights that are under two hours in length. • In 1987, Joe Camel is introduced. • In 1988, Philip Morris revenues top $31 billion. • In 1989, Marlboro brand has captured 24% of the market. • In 1989, a bill banning smoking on all domestic airlines is passed. • In 1991, Marlboro Mediums are introduced to the market. • In 1992, first nicotine patch debuts. • In 1992, Marlboro brand is ranked #1 brand in the world by authoritative magazine. • In 1993, Bill Clinton bans smoking in the White House. • In 1994, McDonald’s restaurants ban smoking in all of it’s restaurants. • In 1994, Mississippi is first state to sue the tobacco industry for health costs related to smoking. • In 1995, the FDA declares nicotine a drug. • In 1995, the ‘Marlboro Man’, dies of lung cancer at the age of 73. • In 1997, Philip Morris USA market share tops 50%. • In 1997, Philip Morris revenues top $72 billion. • In 1997, the Federal Trade Commission accuses Joe Camels ads of targeting youths. • In 1997, Joe Camel ads stop. • In 1998, various states settle with tobacco companies over the costs of health related diseases caused by cigarettes. • In 1999, approximately $10 million americans smoke cigars. • In 2000, European Union files suit in New York against RJR, Philip Morris on RICO/smuggling claims. Smoking is a Reward Most of us are hungry for rewards. We want to be patted on the back. A cigarette is a reward that we can give ourselves as often as we wish. When we have done anything well, for instance, we can congratulate ourselves with a cigarette, which certifies, in effect, that we have been “good boys.” We can promise ourselves: “When I have finished this piece of work, when I have written the last page of my report, I’ll deserve a little fun. I’ll have a cigarette.” The first and last cigarette in the day are especially significant rewards. The first one, smoked right after breakfast, is a sort of anticipated recompense. The smoker has work to do, and he eases himself into the day’s activities as pleasantly as possible. He gives himself a little consolation prize in advance, and at the same time manages to postpone the evil hour when he must begin his hard day’s work. The last cigarette of the day is like “closing a door.” It is something quite definite. One smoker explained: “I nearly always smoke a cigarette before going to bed. That finishes the day. I usually turn the light out after I have smoked the last cigarette, and then turn over to sleep.” Smoking is often merely a conditioned reflex. Certain situations, such as coming out of the subway, beginning and ending work, voluntary and involuntary interruptions of work, feelings of hunger, and many others regulate the timetable of smoking. Often a smoker may not even want a cigarette particularly, but he will see someone else take one and then he feels that he must have one, too. While to many people smoking is fun, and a reward in itself, it more often accompanies other pleasures. At meals, a cigarette is somewhat like another course. In general, smoking introduces a holiday spirit into everyday living. It rounds out other forms of enjoyment and makes them one hundred per cent satisfactory. Smoking is Oral Pleasure As we have said, to explain the pleasure derived from smoking as taste experience alone, is not sufficient. For one thing, such an explanation leaves out the powerful erotic sensitivity of the oral zone. Oral pleasure is just as fundamental as sexuality and hunger. It functions with full strength from earliest childhood. There is a direct connection between thumb sucking and smoking. “In school I always used to chew a pencil or a pen,” said a journalist, in reply to our questions. “You should have seen the collection I had. They used to be chewed to bits. Whenever I try to stop smoking for a while, I get something to chew on, either a pipe or a menthol cigarette. You just stick it in your mouth and keep on sucking. And I also chew a lot of gum when I want to cut down on smoking….” The satisfied expression on a smoker’s face when he inhales the smoke is ample proof of his sensuous thrill. The immense power of the yearning for a cigarette, especially after an enforced abstinence, is acknowledged by habitual smokers. One of our respondents said: “When you don’t get a cigarette for a long time and you are kind of on pins, the first drag goes right down to your heels.” The Cigarette — A Modern Hourglass Frequently the burning down of a cigarette functions psychologically as a time indicator. A smoker waiting for someone who is late says to himself, “Now I’ll smoke one more cigarette, and then I am off.” One person explained, “It is much easier to watch a cigarette get smaller and smaller than to keep watching a clock and look at the hands dragging along.” In some countries, the farmers report distances in terms of the number of pipes, as, for example, “It’s about three pipes from here to Smithtown.” A cigarette not only measures time, but also seems to make time pass more rapidly. That is why waiting periods almost automatically stimulate the desire to smoke. But a deeper explanation of this function of smoking is based on the fact that smoking is ersatz activity. Impatience is a common feature of our times, but there are many situations which compel us to be patient. When we are in a hurry, and yet have to wait, a cigarette gives us something to do during that trying interval. The experience of wanting to act, but being unable to do so, is very unpleasant and may even, in extreme cases, cause attacks of nervous anxiety. Cigarettes may then have a psychotherapeutic effect. This helps to explain why soldiers, waiting for the signal to attack, sometimes value a cigarette more than food. “With a Cigarette I Am Not Alone” Frequently, our respondents remarked that smoking cigarettes is like being with a friend. Said one, “When I lean back and light my cigarette and see the glow in the dark, I am not alone any more….” In one sense, a cigarette seems to be something alive. When it is lighted it appears to be awakened, brought to life. In a French moving picture (Daybreak) the hunted criminal, played by Jean Gabin, holds out as long as he has his cigarettes. He barricades himself against the police and stands siege courageously for some time — until his last cigarette is gone. Then he gives up. The companionable character of cigarettes is also reflected in the fact that they help us make friends. In many ways, smoking has the same effect drinking has. It helps to break down social barriers. Two smokers out on a date light up a cigarette as soon as they get into their car. “It’s just the right start for an evening,” they say. Immediately they feel at ease, for they have found an interest they both share. We could report many true anecdotes to illustrate how cigarettes bring people together. One such story was related by a middle-aged lady: “A long time ago, on a steamer, there was a boy I was quite eager to meet… but there was no one to introduce us…. The second day out, he was sitting at a table right next to me, and I was puffing away at my cigarette. The ashes on my cigarette were getting longer and longer, and I had no ash tray. Suddenly he jumped up and brought me one. That’s how the whole thing started. We are still happily married.” “I Like to Watch the Smoke” In mythology and religion, smoke is full of meaning. Its floating intangibility and unreal character have made it possible for imaginative man to see therein mystery and magic. Even for us moderns, smoke has a strong fascination. To the cigarette smoker, the clouds he puffs out seem to represent a part of himself. Just as most people like to watch their own breath on cold winter days, so they like to watch cigarette smoke, which similarly makes one’s breath visible. This explains the emotional attitudes of many toward smoke. “Smoke is fascinating,” said one of the people we interviewed. “I like to watch the smoke. On a rainy day, I sort of lie in a haze in the middle of the room and let my thoughts wander while I smoke and wonder where the smoke goes.” The desire to make things is deep-rooted — and smoke is manufactured by the smoker himself. Smoking provides satisfaction because it is a playful, creative activity. This fact was well stated by one cigarette devotee as follows: “It’s a fascinating thing to watch the smoke take shape. The smoke, like clouds, can form different shapes…. You like to sit back and blow rings and then blow another rings through the first ones. You are perfectly relaxed.” “Got a Match?” Some of the appeals of a lighted cigarette derive from the appeals of fire in general. Fire is the symbol of life, and the idea of fire is surrounded by much superstition. In this connection, it is interesting to note that traces of superstition can be seen in the smoking habits of modern man. For instance some people never will light three cigarettes on one match. It is said that this superstition is based on experiences during World War I. As three soldiers were lighting up the third man was hit when the light of a match flared up for the last time. Our custom of lighting another smoker’s cigarette for him may sometimes have an erotic significance, or it may serve as a friendly gesture. Match and cigarette are contact points. Smoking Memories Certain moments in our lives are closely linked with cigarettes. These situations often leave on people’s memories an important imprint never to be forgotten. Here is such an occasion, described by an office clerk of twenty-one. “…I can remember the moments when I returned home – no matter how late – after having been out with a girl on a Saturday night. Before going to bed, I’d sit on the fire escape for a while and enjoy a smoke. I’d turn around so that I could see all the smoke going up. At the same time, the windows would be bright with lights on the other side of the courtyard. I would watch what the people were doing. I would sit, and watch, and think about what my girl and I had talked about and what a nice time we had had together. Then I’d throw the cigarette away and go to bed. I feel these were really the most contented moments in my life….” “I remember one time we were in North Africa on a trip and it was evening,” said one of our respondents, a nurse about twenty=seven years of age. “During the day, I had noticed there was a lovely spot to sit, across the way from the hotel where we were staying. I went there at night, and sat looking at the stars and the tall cypresses illuminated against the night sky. I was far away in my thoughts. I was thinking of God and the beautiful world he had made. The smoke from my cigarette rose slowly into the sky. I was alone, and at the time I was a part of all the world around me….” Smoking Mannerisms Usually the way we smoke is characteristic of our whole personality. The mannerisms of smokers are innumerable. Some people always have cigarettes drooping from their mouths. Others let the cigarette jump up and down in their mouths while they are talking. Men sometimes complain about the way women smoke: “A lot of women blow out the smoke with a gust of wind, right into your face. They just puff it at you.” Some men, when they want to appear to be aggressive, hold their cigarettes with thumb and forefinger so that the glowing end shows toward the palm of the hand. Often smokers will assume a pose, because they have found that it fits their personality best, or at least they think so. A not too modest glamor girl revealed to us some of her “smoking secrets”: “I think it looks so much better to smoke with a holder. I studied that very carefully. Don’t you think I’m somewhat of a Latin type? It all really depends on what type you are…. I always have holders that are long and dark. I think a long holder is somewhat like a big hat: it’s alluring and ‘don’t dare come close’ at the same time.” While every smoker has to go through the motions of lighting and inhaling the smoke, the way in which these acts are carried out varies according to his mood. The nervous smoker has a faster smoking tempo than the relaxed one. The angry smoker blows the smoke in an aggressive way, almost as if he were trying to blow somebody down. A smoker who is about to ask for a raise in salary will press his lips tightly around the cigarette as if to gain courage by holding it that way. “Smoking Helps Me Think” The mind can concentrate best when all outside stimuli have been excluded. Smoking literally provides a sort of “smoke screen” that helps to shut out distractions. This explains why many people who were interviewed reported that they cannot think or write without a cigarette. They argued that moderate smoking may even stimulate mental alertness. It gives us a focal point for our attention. It also gives our hands something to do; otherwise they might make us self-conscious and interfere with mental activity. On the other hand, our respondents admit that smoking too much may reduce their efficiency. Cigarettes Help Us to Relax One shortcoming of our modern culture is the universal lack of adequate relaxation. Many of us not only do not know how to relax, but do not take time to learn. Smoking helps us to relax because, like music, it is rhythmic. Smoking gives us a legitimate excuse to linger a little longer after meals, to stop work for a few minutes, to sit at home without doing anything that requires effort. Here is a nostalgic comment contributed by a strong defender of smoking: “After a long day’s work, to get home and sit in a chair and stretch my legs ‘way out, and then to sit back and just smoke a cigarette and think of nothing, just blow the smoke in the air – that’s what I like to do when I’ve had a pretty tough day.” The restful effect of moderate smoking explains why people working under great stress use more tobacco The Biggest Cigarette Companies Today’s cigarette market is is dominated by four companies: Philip Morris USA, RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co, Brown & Williamson, and Lorillard. All companies were involved in the fledgling tobacco industry of the late 1800’s, and are proud of their industry influence. Philip Morris USA Philip Morris USA controls over 50% of the US cigarette market. Their brand portfolio contains Marlboro, the top selling national and international cigarette brand. Other Philip Morris brands include: Accord, Alpine, Basic, Benson & Hedges, Bristol, Bucks, Cambridge, Chesterfield, Collector’s Choice, Commander, Daves, English Ovals, L&Ms;, Lark, Merit, Parliament, Players, Saratoga, and Virginia Slims. Philip Morris was originally a tobacconist in London, England. His store opened in the 1850s, first specializing in hand rolled Turkish cigarettes. In 1900, the Philip Morris company incorporated in New York, where it’s headquarters are still located today. Today, Philip Morris owns several facilities to keep up with consumer demand. Virginia and North Carolina are home to two Manufacturing Centers. Each center produces over 600 million cigarettes, and ships over 3 million cartons a day. RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company Controlling over 20% of the US market, RJ Reynolds is the second largest cigarette manufacturer today. RJ Reynolds is the company that owns Camel, the oldest and most controversial modern cigarette brand. RJ Reynolds is responsible for four of today’s Top 10 cigarette brands – Camel, Winston, Salem and Doral. Other brands in the portfolio include Century, Magna, Monarch, More, Now, and Sterling. Founded in 1875, the company first manufactured chewing tobacco, and later pipe tobacco and cigarettes. Camel cigarettes were the first modern cigarettes on the market in 1913. Between 1958 and 1983, RJ Reynolds was the leading cigarette manufacturer. The largest of the company’s manufacturing plants is located in Tobaccoville, North Carolina. Brown & Williamson The third largest force in the cigarette market is Brown & Williamson, with over 10% of the market share. The company is responsible for many firsts in the cigarette industry. Domestic US brands produced by Brown & Williamson include Barclay, Belair, Capri, Carlton, GPC, Kool, Lucky Strike, Misty, Pall Mall Filtered, Raleigh, Tareyton, and Viceroy. George Brown and Robert Williamson were brothers-in-law, both sons of successful men in the early tobacco industry. In 1893, they began a formal partnership, first buying the senior Williamson’s factory. After finding success with their hand rolled cigarettes, they began steady acquisition of smaller companies. In 1927, they became an arm of British American Tobacco, then moved their facilities to Kentucky two years later. The first national brand of menthol cigarettes was B&W;’s Kool. Cellulose acetate filters are also credited to B&W;, first appearing in Viceroys. In 1987, Capri’s were the first superslim brand of cigarettes on the market. Brown and & Williamson is also responsible for one of the world’s best know brands – Lucky Strikes. Lucky Strikes were first marketed in 1853 as a smoking mixture, but was reintroduced as a manufactured cigarette in 1916. Lorillard Lorillard was founded in 1760, and is the oldest tobacco company in the US. Today, the company controls just under 10% of the US market. Their brands include Kent, Maverick, Max, Newport, Satin, Triumph and True.
Curiosita' su Sigarette, a chi conviene che le sigarette vendono vendute.  -  Il business del fumo, a chi conviene face vedere le sigarette.
Le tre grandi sorelle del tabacco 
Thailandia. Lotta serrata al fumo 
Tabacco: divieto di apparizione 
La conquista dell'Est 
Le sigarette italiane non Curiosita’ su Sigarette, a chi conviene che le sigarette vendono vendute.
Il business del fumo, a chi conviene face vedere le sigarette. Le tre grandi sorelle del tabacco Thailandia. Lotta serrata al fumo Tabacco: divieto di apparizione La conquista dell’Est Le sigarette italiane non “tirano” Rotte complici commercio sigarette La multinazionale nuoce gravemente alla salute Il consumo di sigarette si sposta a Sud. Tra il 1990 e il ‘97 è aumentato del 24,3 per cento in Medio Oriente, dell’8,6 per cento in Asia-Pacifico e del 3,6 per cento in Africa, mentre nello stesso periodo è calato nei Paesi occidentali: meno 10,9 per cento in Europa, meno 7,6 per cento in Nord America. E diminuisce anche in America Latina e Centrale: meno 16,5%. Merito delle politiche di controllo del tabacco, secondo l’Organizzazione mondiale della sanità: grazie alle campagne anti-fumo, i consumatori del Nord sanno che le sigarette fanno male (peggio: di sigarette si può morire) e cercano di smettere. Merito anche delle leggi sempre più restrittive. Dal 2002 sui pacchetti di sigarette dell’Unione Europea verranno stampate immagini di polmoni con il cancro e la scritta “Il fumo uccide” e dal 2006 le marche di sigarette verranno bandite dalle sponsorizzazioni della Formula 1, ma continua la pubblicita’ delle sigarette su abbigliamento ed altro. Al Sud questo non accade. E le multinazionali del tabacco ne approfittano con campagne pubblicitarie aggressive o ammiccanti per far salire i consumi. Attenzione, è un cambiamento epocale: oggi a causa del fumo muoiono 4 milioni di persone l’anno, quasi la metà nel Sud del mondo. Entro il 2030 i morti saranno 10 milioni e il 70% starà nei Paesi più poveri. Il Sud nuova frontiera per le multinazionali del tabacco, con un grande vantaggio: il controllo del tabacco è debole o inesistente. Il primo produttore al mondo (per quantità) di sigarette e prodotti di tabacco è la China National Tobacco Corporation (Cntc), di proprietà dello Stato: la Cina sforna 2,5 milioni di tonnellate di tabacco ogni anno, un terzo del totale mondiale. Ma la Cntc non è una multinazionale. I nomi che invece si incontrano più spesso -ovunque e quindi anche nel Sud del mondo- sono tre: Philip Morris, British American Tobacco, RJ Reynolds. Lavorano attraverso joint venture con aziende locali o concedendo a queste lo sfruttamento dei loro marchi. Nel Sud del mondo le multinazionali hanno mani libere o quasi. A partire dalle confezioni. Se compro un pacchetto di sigarette a Oslo, in Norvegia, trovo 10 diverse indicazioni sulla nocività (tra l’altro: cancro, dipendenza, malattie cardiache, pericolosità durante la gravidanza, fumo passivo), se lo compro a Montreal in Canada le segnalazioni sono 8, in Italia 5, in Danimarca o Nuova Zelanda 4. Stesso pacchetto di sigarette nel Sud del mondo? Indicazioni generiche di nocività oppure nulla. Non riportano alcun avviso sulla pericolosità del fumo le sigarette vendute in Uganda, Cambogia, Camerun, Niger. Stesso pacchetto di sigarette significa stesso produttore. Perché allora due pesi e due misure? Perché la legge lo consente: solo il 26% dei Paesi “in via di sviluppo” chiede ai produttori di sigarette di stampare gli avvisi sui pacchetti, contro l’89% degli Stati del Nord del mondo. Così per la pubblicità. Nei Paesi occidentali la promozione diretta di sigarette e prodotti di tabacco è di solito proibita. Le multinazionali cercano di aggirare le restrizioni con varie sponsorizzazioni: dagli eventi culturali e sportivi alle linee di abbigliamento. Provate invece a passeggiare per le vie di Dakar, la capitale del Senegal. Cartelloni pubblicitari giganti, ombrelloni per ripararsi dal sole, manifesti di concerti: tutti sponsorizzati dalle marche di sigarette più famose con tanto di pacchetto in bella vista. E i consumi sono passati dalle 430 sigarette pro capite del 1970 alle 1.050 del 1990. Un aumento del 144% in vent’anni. Il Senegal è stato uno dei primi Paesi africani ad approvare -negli anni ‘80- leggi sul controllo del tabacco: divieto di fumare nei locali pubblici, vietati gli spot televisivi. Ma la normativa è stata modificata per la pressione delle aziende produttrici e oggi la promozione pubblicitaria di sigarette è comune. La strategia: ci si rivolge a un pubblico giovane puntando sul miraggio chiamato America con slogan come “Evadete con Marlboro” o “America arrivo!” (L&M;). Vedi nostra ADS Gallery cigarettes. Il 93% del mercato senegalese è in mano alla Manufacture du Tabac de l’Ouest Africain (Mtoa), azienda controllata quasi totalmente dalla francese Coralma International, a sua volta di proprietà di Bolloré e Seita, sempre francesi. Mtoa ha poi stretto accordi con alcune multinazionali straniere per produrre sigarette con i loro marchi. In particolare Marlboro e L&M; (Philip Morris) e Camel e Gold Coast (RJ Reynolds). Le due multinazionali americane sono in Senegal dagli anni ‘80. Un altro esempio di pubblicità senza limiti è quello dell’India. Qui la guerra delle multinazionali del tabacco è serrata, l’obiettivo è conquistare i fumatori di bidi, (tipiche sigarette indiane rollate a mano): i dati sui consumi parlano di 1.220 bidi procapite ogni anno, contro appena 150 sigarette. Si calcola che siano 250 milioni le persone che fanno uso costante di tabacco. Ogni anno si spendono 2,3 miliardi di rupie (103 miliardi di lire) in pubblicità per sigarette e prodotti di tabacco. In testa l’Indian Tobacco Company (Itc), il primo produttore di sigarette del Paese, che nel 1999 ha speso 2 miliardi di rupie (90 miliardi di lire). Le multinazionali si muovono spesso attraverso le società locali. British American Tobacco ha siglato accordi con Itc per produrre sigarette Benson & Hedges e State Express 555. Philip Morris invece produce Marlboro e Chesterfield attraverso Godfrey Philips India (Gpi) e le vende tramite la controllata Philip Morris India. Ma Gpi commercializza anche Rothman’s (che dal 1999 è un marchio Bat). RJ Reynolds ha un accordo con il gruppo Mk Modi per i marchi Camel, Winston e Salem. La pubblicità di sigarette e prodotti di tabacco in India è ovunque: giornali, televisione, cinema. Senza dimenticare le sponsorizzazioni di concerti ed eventi sportivi. Ma il boccone più ghiotto per le multinazionali resta la Cina, il gigante dove i fumatori sono 430 milioni. Produzione e commercializzazione del tabacco sono in mano all’azienda di Stato, la Cntc, ma negli ultimi anni ci sono state aperture alle multinazionali (tra le altre anche qui Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds e Bat). Le legge cinese sulla pubblicità è molto rigida, non sono ammessi annunci su giornali, radio, televisioni e i pacchetti di sigarette devono riportare la dicitura “Fumare è rischioso per la tua salute”. Ma la norma è facilmente aggirabile: basta eliminare la parola “sigaretta” e promuovere -per esempio- il “piacere del mondo di Marlboro”. Le tre grandi sorelle del tabacco PHILIPS MORRIS COMPANIES INC. È la più grande multinazionale del tabacco. Ha sede a New York, i dipendenti in tutto il mondo sono 137 mila. Nel 1999 il fatturato è stato di 78 miliardi di dollari (166 mila miliardi di lire), il 60% deriva dal settore tabacco. I marchi più noti sono Marlboro, Merit, Chesterfield, Muratti. Philip Morris controlla anche Kraft Foods (34% del fatturato, marchi come Philadelphia, Milka, Toblerone, Suchard, Sottilette, caffè Hag e Splendid), Miller Brewing Company (6% del fatturato, produce tra l’altro le birre Miller e Foster) e la società finanziaria Philip Morris Capital Corporation. Nel dicembre 2000 Philip Morris ha acquistato la Nabisco Holding Corp., gigante alimentare da 8,4 miliardi di dollari di fatturato (quasi 18 mila miliardi di lire). BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO PLC Sede a Londra, 90 mila dipendenti e un fatturato di 11 miliardi di dollari (23 mila e 400 miliardi di lire). Le sue sigarette più famose: Lucky Strike, Dunhill, Pall Mall. Nel 1999 si è fusa con Rothmans e ne ha acquisito i marchi. Controlla anche l’americana Brown & Williamson Tobacco. La rivista statunitense Multinational monitor ha inserito la Bat tra le 10 peggiori aziende del 2000, per il suo coinvolgimento nel contrabbando di sigarette (come emerge da documenti segreti della multinazionale e dall’inchiesta del quotidiano The Guardian: www.guardian.co.uk/bat). RJ REYNOLDS TOBACCO PLC Sede a Winston-Salem (Usa), 7.800 dipendenti e 7,6 miliardi di dollari di fatturato (16 mila e 600 miliardi di lire). Ha fatto parte della RJ Reynolds Nabisco fino al 1999, anno in cui il settore tabacco è diventato autonomo. Tra i marchi più noti: Camel, Winston, Salem. SU * * * Thailandia. Lotta serrata al fumo La Thailandia ha una delle più severe leggi anti-fumo al mondo. E fino al 1989 esisteva anche un blocco quasi totale sull’import di tabacchi esteri. Gli strumenti adottati: tasse elevate, bando della pubblicità, monopolio governativo sulla produzione di sigarette. Il Thailand Tobacco Monopoly (Ttm) è infatti l’unico produttore legale di sigarette del Paese e dipende dal ministero delle Finanze. Ma nel 1989 la United States Export Association, che riunisce Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds e Brown & Williamson (una sussidiaria della Bat) ha fatto pressioni appellandosi al Trade Act del 1975 (legge Usa sul commercio) e al Gatt per spingere il governo thailandese ad aprire le frontiere: nel ‘91 per la prima volta le sigarette straniere sono entrate legalmente nel Paese. Ma le restrizioni restano ferree: sono proibite le pubblicità su qualsiasi mezzo di comunicazione (tranne quelli stranieri) così come la distribuzione di campioni gratuiti e di articoli promozionali. Gli avvisi sulla nocività del tabacco devono occupare almeno il 33% del pacchetto di sigarette, non esistono distributori automatici di sigarette e la vendita è proibita ai minori di 18 anni. Dagli anni ‘70 è vietato fumare nei luoghi pubblici. Inoltre, le aziende straniere devono comunicare al ministero della Sanità gli ingredienti di ogni marca di sigarette commercializzata. Le regole non sempre vengono rispettate: pubblicità su giornali e manifesti, oltre che su cappellini, magliette e quant’altro, venivano utilizzate già negli anni ‘80, quando l’importazione di sigarette straniere era limitata. E poi le aziende ricorrono a sistemi promozionali indiretti: esposizione dei marchi nei punti vendita dei prodotti da fumo, sponsorizzazioni di concerti ed eventi artistici, donazioni di denaro ad associazioni di beneficenza, vendita di abbigliamento come “Marlboro Classic” e “Camel Trophy Adventure”. Dal 1945 in Italia bandita la pubblictà di sigarette e affini Tabacco: divieto di apparizione Negli Stati Uniti il consumo di sigarette non può essere promosso in televisione, radio o con manifesti. Ma la pubblicità è consentita sui giornali, con l’obbligo di pubblicare anche avvertenze sulla dannosità del fumo. Non vengono limitate le pubblicità indirette, attraverso la cosiddetta “diversificazione dei marchi” (la marca delle sigarette, per esempio, diventa anche il nome di una linea di abbigliamento). Si stanno però studiando norme più restrittive. Simili norme anche in Canada e Australia. L’Unione Europea vieta la pubblicità in radio e Tv dal 1989. Alcuni Paesi hanno leggi più severe di altri: in Portogallo, Italia e Francia è bandito qualsiasi tipo di pubblicità dei prodotti da fumo. Altri Paesi sono più permissivi, ma ancora per poco: la direttiva europea 98/43 dà tempo fino al 2006 agli Stati membri per l’introduzione del divieto totale di pubblicità del fumo. In Italia la pubblicità di sigarette e prodotti a base di tabacco è proibita fin dal 1965. Le sanzioni per la violazione della legge possono arrivare a 50 milioni di lire. Ma anche da noi ci sono molti modi per aggirare la legge: le marche di sigarette sono diventate “griffe” di moda, sponsor di gran premi di Formula uno o altre manifestazioni sportive, sponsor di eventi culturali. La conquista dell’Est Nuovo obiettivo economico -con il Sud del mondo- è l’Europa Orientale. Caduta della Cortina di ferro, privatizzazioni delle imprese statali, basso costo del lavoro. Ma soprattutto nuovi mercati da conquistare. Ecco le parole magiche che hanno attirato anche qui le multinazionali del tabacco. Emblematico il caso dell’ex-Unione Sovietica. I colossi multinazionali sono arrivati in tutte le Repubbliche con impianti per la produzione di sigarette, tramite partecipazioni nelle società locali o con nuove realizzazioni. A partire dalla Russia. Con 40 milioni di fumatori (110 milioni in tutta la Federazione Russa), tra cui il 60% della popolazione maschile, e un consumo procapite di 1.757 sigarette l’anno, la Russia è il maggior mercato in Europa e il quarto nel mondo per grandezza. Nel 1995, 61 milioni di sigarette (il 44% del totale russo) era prodotto in 8 stabilimenti in cui Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds, Bat e altre aziende minori avevano tra il 49% e il 92% delle quote, quindi il controllo totale. Tra il 1992 e il 1998 le multinazionali hanno investito oltre 1 miliardo di dollari (2.100 miliardi di lire) nell’industria russa del tabacco. E gli affari sembrano andare a gonfie vele se le “tre grandi” hanno deciso di aumentare gli investimenti. RJ Reynolds nei prossimi due anni spenderà 120 milioni di dollari (255 miliardi di lire) per trasformare la fabbrica di San Pietroburgo nel suo più grande impianto produttivo al di fuori degli Usa. Philip Morris sborserà 200 milioni di dollari (425 miliardi di lire) per un impianto vicino a San Pietroburgo che dovrebbe produrre 50 milioni di sigarette l’anno. “La situazione è tipica di tutti i Paesi dell’ex-Urss”, sottolinea lo Iuf, l’unione internazionale dei sindacati alimentari e del tabacco. L’ex-Unione Sovietica è un boccone ghiotto non solo per le dimensioni del mercato, ma anche “per i bassi salari e la debolezza dei sindacati”. L’espansione delle multinazionali del tabacco è accompagnata da una massiccia campagna pubblicitaria. Le sigarette d’importazione rappresentano il 40% di tutta la pubblicità russa. La legge ha proibito gli spot televisivi che riguardano le sigarette, ma li permette su carta stampata e manifesti a patto che riportino avvisi sulla nocività del prodotto. Le tattiche delle multinazionali per la promozione dei prodotti vanno poi dalla distribuzione di campioni gratuiti, alla sponsorizzazione di eventi sportivi, alla creazione di marche locali e slogan che si rifanno al sentimento nazionalista russo. È il caso delle sigarette “Pietro il Grande” di RJ Reynolds. Anche in Ucraina le grandi del tabacco sono arrivate dopo il 1990 acquistando le fabbriche in via di privatizzazione: il 30% è in mano a società estere. La prima, con un terzo del mercato locale, è la tedesca Reemstma che ha conquistato il successo con la creazione di marche locali. La prima società a stelle e strisce a metter piede sul suolo ucraino è stata la RJ Reynolds nel 1992. Prima dell’indipendenza le pubblicità di sigarette erano proibite, oggi sono permessi gli annunci su giornali e manifesti, ma anche le pubblicità stampate su magliette e gadgets. In Ucraina il 60% della pubblicità è relativa ad alcol e sigarette straniere. Gli slogan sono i soliti e puntano sul desiderio di evasione: “assapora la libertà” o “assaggia l’Occidente”. Piano di riassetto per l’Ente tabacchi Le sigarette italiane non “tirano” In Italia le sigarette -ma anche sigari, tabacco, sale e carta- sono prodotte dall’Ente tabacchi (Eti). Ex monopolio di stato, società per azioni dallo scorso anno, è in via di privatizzazione. Che fa rima con “riassetto” o “ristrutturazione”, se volete: per diventare appetibile l’Eti deve sgravarsi di 3.584 dipendenti e di 28 impianti tra stabilimenti produttivi e magazzini. Il riassetto è iniziato nel 2000 e terminerà nel 2002. Anche l’assetto societario deve diventare più snello e puntare su produzione e distribuzione. Proprio come i principali concorrenti europei. Che, tolte le grandi multinazionali, si chiamano Austria Tabak e poi Seita (Francia) e Tabacalera (Spagna): queste due si sono fuse nel 1999 dando vita a Altadis, nuova società che si piazza al quarto posto nella classifica dei più grandi produttori mondiali di prodotti di tabacco. Ma i problemi dell’Eti non finiscono qui: quello del tabacco è un mercato “maturo” -sottolinea il piano di riassetto- cioè stabile. È così anche il mercato italiano: stabile, con un aumento “della quota dei prodotti importati e dei prodotti su licenza a fronte di un consistente decremento dei prodotti italiani”. In altre parole: le sigarette di Philip Morris importate o preparate su licenza dallo stesso Ente tabacchi vendono sempre di più, arrivando a occupare il 59% del mercato italiano per quantità. Le sigarette targate Eti (MS, Alfa, Nazionali, per intenderci, ma anche i sigari Toscani) non hanno un grande successo: nel 1989 la quota di mercato era del 56%, nel 1998 era crollata al 35%. Il motivo? La qualità dei prodotti non è alta e si posiziona in una fascia di prezzo medio-bassa. Da qui la ricetta per il riassetto. Primo: “valorizzare i business prodotti da fumo e distribuzione”. Secondo: “razionalizzare e dismettere le attività” non strategiche, cioè carta, sale, filtri, premanifattura. E il sale in particolare, che nel ‘98 ha segnato 12 miliardi di perdite. Andrà quindi cambiata la struttura societaria attuale. Oggi dall’Ente dipendono altre quattro società: Ati (premanifattura tabacchi), AtiSale, AtiCarta, Filtrati Spa. Altra strategia: l’internazionalizzazione. Oggi l’Ente tabacchi esporta in Francia e Germania, ma progetta di raggiungere Spagna, Grecia, Belgio e Lussemburgo. E poi sono in fase di studio joint venture per la produzione di sigarette in Sud America e Asia. Rotte complici e multinazionali del tabacco sono complici del contrabbando di sigarette. Ne è convinta l’Unione Europea, che il 6 novembre scorso ha denunciato due tra i maggiori produttori al mondo di sigarette -Philip Morris e RJ Reynolds- presso il tribunale di New York, chiedendo il risarcimento per il danno economico subìto. La vendita di sigarette di contrabbando equivale infatti a imposte che l’Ue non può incassare: circa 2 miliardi di lire per ogni container. Saranno i giudici americani a stabilire l’entità del risarcimento; le perdite dei Paesi membri dell’Ue sono state di 20 mila miliardi di lire nel 1998-’99. E alla denuncia dell’Unione Europea ha aderito anche il governo italiano, alcune settimane dopo. Si potrebbe così arrivare a un assurdo: l’Italia denuncia Philip Morris e RJ Reynolds ma intanto continua a produrre su licenza proprio le sigarette di Philip Morris. Ma l’Italia cosi come altri Paesi dell’Unione Europea, ha percepito dalla Philip Morris USD 40 MIO per combattere l’introduzione illegale nel proprio territorio di sigarette vendute on line.Il commercio di sigarette e la produzione e vendita di sigarette presente grand incongruenze giustificate solamente dall’interesse dei vari Paesi di far soldi sulle sigarette. Viene finanziata dalla Marlboro la lotta al contrabbando delle sigarette Marlboro, ma la Marlboro vende le sigarette ai contrabbandieri, vi e’ divieto contro il fumo ma lo stato italiano si arrichisce con il fumo, la Marlboro vende sigarette ai Duty free shop e poi finanzia gli Stati per non far vendere le sigarette ai Duty Free shop. Ma cosa c’entrano le aziende del tabacco con i contrabbandieri? Secondo l’Ue i trafficanti di sigarette comprano la merce direttamente dalle multinazionali, che ne sono consapevoli ma non fanno nulla per impedirlo. Anzi, secondo la rivista Tobacco Control il contrabbando è vantaggioso per le aziende stesse perché permette vendite maggiori ed è un sistema per entrare in mercati chiusi (come quello cinese, per esempio, dove ogni anno vengono importati clandestinamente 40 milioni di sigarette). Le marche più diffuse sono quelle americane, come Marlboro e Camel. Le sigarette di contrabbando vengono acquistate legalmente dalle aziende produttrici negli Usa e arrivano al porto di Anversa in Belgio come merce “in transito”. Ufficialmente si tratta di sigarette destinate a Paesi extraeuropei, come il Nord Africa. Per questo sono esenti da tasse. Ma una volta lasciata Anversa, se ne perdono le tracce. Tre le rotte principali. La prima dal Belgio porta in Svizzera. Qui le sigarette non sono più sotto la legislazione Europea e ricevono una nuova destinazione, che di solito è l’Europa dell’Est o l’ex-Unione Sovietica. Il secondo percorso: dal porto di Anversa arrivano agli aeroporti di Belgio e Paesi Bassi e da qui raggiungono di nuovo l’Europa orientale. Dai Paesi dell’ex-Cortina di ferro rientrano quindi in Unione europea, dirette soprattutto in Germania e Italia (qui arrivano soprattutto da Albania e Montenegro, Paese che sta diventando il nuovo centro di smistamento del contrabbando). Terza rotta: dal Beglio arrivano direttamente in Spagna, Andorra a Portogallo. Nel 1996 in Europa sono entrati 100 milioni di sigarette “duty-free” per un valore di 14 miliardi di dollari (quasi 30 mila miliardi di lire). Sempre più numerose le cause legali perse dai produttori di sigarette La multinazionale nuoce gravemente alla salute La storia recente delle multinazionali del tabacco è scritta su carta bollata. La prima causa giudiziaria è del 1954 quando un fumatore si ammala di cancro e sporge denuncia: sul pacchetto di sigarette non veniva segnalata la pericolosità del fumo. Bisognerà però aspettare il 1965 perché i primi avvisi anti-tabacco compaiano sui pacchetti. Le multinazionali hanno sempre negato l’esistenza di un legame tra il fumo delle sigarette e il cancro. Ma molti studi medici provano esattamente il contrario. Nel ‘94 il Mississippi è il primo Stato americano a chiedere un risarcimento per le spese sanitarie sostenute per le malattie da fumo. In 24 seguiranno il suo esempio. Da quell’anno in poi i produttori americani di sigarette diventano protagonisti abituali dei tribunali. E nel 1998 ammettono che il fumo potrebbe provocare il cancro. Nel 1999 Philip Morris perde due cause contro privati cittadini: i giudici decidono risarcimenti per 131 milioni di dollari (280 miliardi di lire). Ma la cifra record è dell’anno scorso. Il tribunale di Miami, Florida, stabilisce che le multinazionali sono colpevoli dei danni provocati ai fumatori. E devono pagare: Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds, Brown & Williamson (di proprietà della Bat), Lorillard, Ligget dovranno sborsare 145 miliardi di dollari, vale a dire più di 300 mila miliardi di lire. Ovviamente le aziende condannate ricorreranno in appello. Intanto, forte della sentenza americana, il Codacons, associazione per la tutela dei consumatori, mette a disposizione una linea telefonica per chi volesse intentare una causa per danni da fumo attivo (info: www.codacons.it, tel. 06-37.25.809). La prima denuncia itaiana è partita l’anno scorso: è quella di due privati cittadini contro l’Ente tabacchi italiani (Eti). I processi contro le multinazionali del tabacco hanno anche reso pubblici molti documenti aziendali inediti. STORIA I resti di tabacco, derivati dalla produzione di sigari, venivano avvolti in una cartina e fumati. Quindi la sigaretta, in origine, era un prodotto di scarto. Nel 1784 a Siviglia, in Spagna, fu fondata la prima fabbrica di sigarette. Il vero trionfo della sigaretta fu però durante la guerra di Crimea (1853): i soldati francesi, inglesi, e turchi che combatterono alleati contro i russi, ne appresero l’usanza e così, i commercianti londinesi e parigini, iniziarono ad importare sigarette dalla Russia. Le marche più conosciute sono: la Philip Morris che aprì a Londra nel 1847, la Louis Rothmans che apri anch’egli il proprio negozio a Londra nel 1890, il terzo è il figlio di un esiliato spagnolo a Londra che nel 1852 creò le sigarette Craven. I pacchetti di sigarette, sovente, hanno una grafica e dei colori così invitanti che anche i non fumatori ne sono contagiati. inoltre, i nomi di alcune marche, possono evocare avventura, mondanità, eleganza. Spesso, la preferenza personale, è influenzata dal nome che diventa quasi espressione di un particolare stile di vita. Le gauloises promettono un piacere forte, mentre le Rothmans richiamano la classica eleganza inglese; Camel, Lucky Strike e Marlboro evocano l’America, terra di cow-boys e della vita “on the road”. Oltre al nome il fattore decisivo per la scelta della sigaretta è la qualità del tabacco. Tabacco nero o biondo ce n’è per tutti i gusti. Dall’America passando per la Spagna: è questo il tragitto che la sigaretta ha compiuto prima di arrivare a noi. I primi documenti che provano l’utilizzo di sigarette risalgono alla seconda metà del XVI secolo, quando i missionari spagnoli attivi nel centro e nel sud America si imbattono nei “papelitos”, frammenti di tabacco avvolti in pezzi di carta o foglie di mais fumati dai nativi del luogo. La manifattura di questo particolare oggetto viene ben presto esportata nella Spagna, tanto che il secolo successivo è caratterizzato dalla produzione nazionale di sigarette, dirette discendenti dei rudimentali papelitos. Nel 1600 si diffonde la vendita nelle librerie di particolari “libretti di carta per sigarette” prodotti a Valencia. Mentre nel 1700 una valida testimonianza del diffondersi della sigaretta è data da Giacomo Casanova: nelle sue Memorie descrive, durante un soggiorno iberico nel 1767, l’incontro con un uomo intento a fumare una specie di sigaretto avvolto in un foglietto di carta. A conferma, infine, della primogenitura spagnola della sigaretta attuale stanno il termine “spagnoletta”, per lungo tempo intercambiabile con quello di “sigaretta”, e la documentazione iconografica che ne dà Francisco Goya nel suo “Aquilone”, dipinto nel 1776 e tradotto in arazzo nel 1778. Affacciandosi al XIX secolo, la sigaretta entra stabilmente nel consumo di tabacco degli altri Paesi europei dopo la fine guerra di Crimea (1854-1856): sono i soldati di ritorno dalla campagna militare a diffondere l’abitudine di arrotolare il tabacco in un foglio di carta dopo averlo imparato dai turchi. Tuttavia permangono delle difficoltà di produzione, perché tutte le sigarette sono confezionate a mano, quindi il loro costo è assai elevato: una buona operaia confeziona in otto ore di lavoro non più di 1.000-1.200 pezzi. I primi segnali documentati del consumo di sigarette in Italia risalgono al 1875, quando viene condotta la prima indagine sul consumo di tabacco: le sigarette ammontano a soli 340 kg, pari all’1,9% di tutti i tabacchi consumati in quell’anno (oggi la percentuale è del 98,6%). Nello stesso anno, la Allen & Cinter, ditta statunitense attiva nel settore, mette in palio un premio di 75.000 dollari per la creazione di una macchina capace di soppiantare il confezionamento a mano. Ci vogliono cinque anni affinché James A. Bonsai, il 4 settembre 1880, presenti la richiesta di un brevetto. Ed è così moderno da rappresentare ancora il modello base di tutti i macchinari attuali, capaci di sfornare 14.000 sigarette al minuto.
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