RE: virus: Cigarettes

Gifford, Nate F (
Thu, 7 Aug 1997 14:56:26 -0400

<the lovely AND talented> Eva-Lise Carlstrom said:
Yup. I am desperately trying to remember where I read about a study where
somebody interviewed a bunch of smokers of various brands of cigarettes,
and asked them why they smoke the brand they do. They tended to say it
was because that brand tasted best, but they used the phraseology of their
particular brands' ads in doing so.

Nate says:
Taste is the advertising codeword for nicotine. The more nicotine in a
cig. the better it tastes. Once you've broken this code you can see why
smoker's use the advertising rhetoric ... noone gives them correct words.
For instance I smoke Merits ... because they have the best tar to nicotine
ratio I've found. I used to say that Merit tastes best of all the low tar
cigarettes I've tried. The tricky thing is when the tobacco companies
allow you to THINK you're smoking a low tar cigarette with lots of nicotine
when you're getting more tar. Thus, there are dosage differences between
regulars and 100s that can be attributed to more than the amount of tobacco
in the cigarette. I've been told there are even dosage differences between
types of packaging ... more nicotine/tar in the soft pack then the hard

Eva-Lise Carlstrom said:
This effect was most notable in the cases of brands that concentrate
their advertising on the idea of being your own person and making your own

Nate said:
I would like to see the results of an attempted correlation between the
levels of nicotine and the degree that autonomy is sold with the
cigarettes. I think a lot of the recent discussion on this thread ignores
the fact that cigarettes do make you feel good. I think there is a
correlation between the ad campaigns and their images and the dosage of
nicotine in the cigarette. For instance Marlboro's and Winston's have to
be my all time favorite nicotine delivery mechanisms. They deliver an
immediate rush that is backed up with every puff. The downside is the big
brown loogies you cough up at about a pack and a half a day. On the other
other hand it seems that cigs. that are sold as "sophisticated" like
Benson & Hedges or foreign brands like Rothschilds don't give you the
initial rush of a Marlboro ... although the effect is more cumulative. By
the end of the cigarette I feel about as sated. For awhile I smoked
Virginia Slims 120s because they had a really heady rush at the end ... but
they were a real pain in the ass to get started.

I don't want to deny the effect advertising has on people's decision to
smoke ... but it bothers me that people in the group are so enthralled in
the rapture of the meme that they deny that there is a also a physiological
stimulus/response component responsible for acquiring the addiction. Thats
what makes Tony/Kurt's modest proposal so ludicrous. Admittedly the
tobacco companies are telling people ... smoke its cool, its sophisticated,
it'll make you slim, rich, and popular. But inside of all the hype there
IS A KIND OF SUCCOR IN NICOTINE. Perhaps the ultimate proof for this is
crack cocaine. I've never heard a positive word about crack ... even the
nastiest gangsta rappers just claim to sell it to suckers. Yet, despite
overwhelming negative press, some people still try it once to see why
anyone would ruin their lives with the shit, and some of those end up as