European Tobacco Prices

Via Facebook, price of 20 Marlboro Red in Europe:

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US $1.37 / Euro today.

UK £0.83 / Euro today.

Astonishing range.

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50 Responses to European Tobacco Prices

  1. beobrigitte says:

    I have a really silly question: WHY are the UK and Ireland ca. 3 Euros more ‘europeanly’, politically correct than the rest of europe?

  2. I believe the UK is more dominated by the US (and thus the US well-financed antismoking movement) than Europe in general. And Ireland somehow got totally taken over by fanatical Antis prior to its own ban. The US dominance led to pressure for tax increases, and, since the Brits are more accustomed to higher goods taxes in general (I believe that’s the case, but may be wrong) people are more accepting of them.

    Additionally, smuggling from Russia/Bulgaria et al may be a bit harder for the UK than the Euro states so the price can be higher before reaching an equivalent smuggling problem.

    Note: the above are just my general guesses on this. Dunno how true they are.

    – MJM
    P.S. And apologies to any Brits who feel they are NOT dominated by the US, but it sure seems that way a lot of the time.

    • beobrigitte says:

      I am not sure that it is the UK that is more dominated by the US than e.g. Germany. (That until Merkel learned her phone conversations were listened to – some people suspected embarrassment re phone sex…. I somehow doubt that bit!!!)

      Additionally, smuggling from Russia/Bulgaria et al may be a bit harder for the UK than the Euro states so the price can be higher before reaching an equivalent smuggling problem.

      From what I gather the smuggling trade is booming. Nevertheless, some countries are more resilient than others to smoking bans, despite the anti-smoking whingers and whiners re-using the ancient, overused, arguments to lobby for such a ban.
      If you visit the Austrian Alps in Winter, just pop over to the Czech republic for cheap tobacco. But then, the Austrians let us smoke, so I’d buy my tobacco there!!!

      Even the States have such “cheap tobacco” places!!!! It was 1/2 hours drive and voilà la – less than half the price where we stayed. (Actually, it was a non-smoker who offered this lift!!!)
      Another thing: I found myself – as a declared smoker – very welcomed by the people of this anti-smoker-dominated state!! At least twice/day I was offered 1$ for a cigarette. Visiting a Hard Rock cafe was just bliss – not only was I allowed to take my drink with me, the door person even joined me for a smoke!!! We sat for a couple of cigs on the wall by the entrance and I did mention that I dreaded the week in the states. “Don’t be silly! Most of us SMOKE” was the answer.

      However, I am still chasing up the smoking ban in OLD FOLK’s homes there – it looks like that once you are old, you have to rely on a smoking carer to take you across the road to a hotel car park to light up. And…. if it is the old, frail people bearing the brunt of the smoking ban (as here in the UK) then there are also others who do have not much of a voice…

      At this point in time I think that the anti-smokers are re-grouping in the States to sort the persisting smokers in the USA and then overrun our gullible (perhaps not very intelligent) politicians with the same lame arguments. And Europe is cannon fodder for health scares……

    • Frank J says:

      Nah, it’s just the Anglosphere following each other like lemmings. California, New York, etc., Australia, New Zealand, UK, Eire, all rushing to be the ‘first with the worst’ and following on.

      Can’t let our cousins have the glory, can we? Prats!

    • Frank Davis says:

      There’s certainly a very strong US influence in the UK. And antismoking zealotry does seem to be primarily a US export. However, with more or less the entire UK political class totally sold on becoming European, and Brussels being antismoking too, I tend to think that our government is trying to show the EU just how European we are by having even tougher antismoking laws and taxes than they do.

      • beobrigitte says:

        Some European countries are quite resilient when it comes to introducing the total smoking ban.

        In Austria the Anti-smoking zealots keep chipping away on society, using the same old (stupid) arguments they did here …. So the Austrian government decided on smoking/non-smoking areas. Nevertheless, in the Austrian Tyrol area the locals object strongly to anything that interferes with their lives and the way they live it. The anti-smoking zealots whinged and whined about that non-smokers would have to cross the smoking room to get to the toilet and that therefore a total smoking ban is “needed”.
        The Austrian government decided that crossing a smoking room to get to the toilet is fine. For now the antis have been rebuffed. Undoubtedly they will continue to chip away this stable society structure.
        My solution would have been to swap the areas – the anti-smokers can sit next to the toilets and the non-smokers sit with their friends in the smoking room. Undoubtedly the anti-smoking zealots would play the “discrimination card” – let them!! That way smokers can address the REAL DISCRIMINATION and DEFAMATION we here in England experience on a daily basis.
        In a short while I shall visit the place and see for myself. On my journey there I shall hold an E-Light e-cig (not using it – just holding it like a cigarette). I’ll be logging the responses.
        If the Austrians REALLY cater for me I will buy tobacco there. If I find hostility (which I doubt), I’ll cross the border and buy in the Czech republic.

      • George says:

        What nonsense. If we are similar to the USA we are led by them but if we are similar to Europe we are led by them. The truth is we decide things for ourselves and obviously our decisions will be similar to someone else’s in the world. The Uk has always stood alone and continue to do so. We are not influenced by anyone.

    • Marie says:

      Thats the same for the Danes. We get anything from US and UK, even a new language ;)

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    Camerons a member of Owebummers group of asskissers in this healthiest group I forget the name of right this minute. They get their marching orders thru that organization.

  4. Junican says:

    I visited Prague (Check republic) last year and got 20 fags for the equivalent of £2,50. Also, the bar that I used for meals and entertainment was smoking. I brought back about 25 sleeves at a cost of about £600, as compared with about £1800 in the UK. But I prefer going to Spain because, around March, the weather is so much pleasanter. The additional cost of about £250 is worth it.
    By the way, I found Prague to be still suffering from communist neglect, but the people I met were brilliant.

    • BrianB says:

      Junican

      I’m off to Prague later this year, and am looking forward to sourcing cigs for less than I have been paying in Belgium and Spain (NB I haven’t bought cigarettes in the UK for 3 years now!).

      So, how did you go about aquiring 25 sleeves? Did you have to hawk around lots of shops buying one or two at each, or were you able to find a single source for all 25? I have been able to place large advance orders in Belgium (Bruges) and Barcelona, where there are enterprising tobacconists with web sites, but I haven’t located anything similar for Prague.

      I have also ‘enjoyed’ spending many hours visiting mutiple Tabacs in Italy – it can take up a large chunk of one’s holiday, though!

      Thanks in advance for any advice.

      • Junican says:

        Hello Brian,
        I had no idea what to expect in Prague. Like you, I could not find any specific advice on the net.
        The first thing that I did was walk around the streets close to the hotel. I was looking for a tobacconists, similar to those that exist in Spain. What I found was that ‘corner shops’ sold cigarettes in much the same way that ours do. I went into the first one that I came across and asked if they could get me 200 packets. The person behind the counter did not seem interested, so I left. I continues looking around the local streets and found another shop which displayed 200 packs. The guy did not have much stock, so I bought 1 x 200 pack. There were no obvious Brit type cigs so I bought a brand called “Red And White” (or something like that). The thing is that they were superkings, so I thought that they would probably be OK. I tried a packet and they were ok, so I went back the next day and bought out his stock (about 5 sleeves and paid cash, and asked the guy if he could get me 10 sleeves and then another 10.. To be on the safe side, I wrote what I wanted on a sheet of paper. He agreed, and so the next day (or it may have been the day after) I went back. The guy had got the ten that I had asked for and so I paid him for them. Thus, I established a little ‘trust’ relationship. On the third day, I asked him if he had more that five, and he had, so I bought seven (because I had been smoking them!).
        I was there for a week, so I had time to sort things out.
        I have used the same method in Benidorm and Malaga, but the brand which I like, called ‘Coronas’ (made by Japan International) are readily available. So, in those places, I bought as many sleeves as the shop had in stock (probably 7 or so), paid for them in cash, and asked the proprietor to get as many more as I wanted. They readily agreed obviously good business.
        I hope that helps.
        Oh, it might be a good idea to ask at your hotel reception where the nearest tobacco shop is.

        • BrianB says:

          Thanks for that, Junican. It pretty much mirrors my own experiences in Italy – except that all cigarettes there are sold in Goverment-licensed ‘Tabacchi’. I also ended up with a brand (Benson & Hedges ‘Yellow’) that is only sold in Italy. They aren’t bad, except that they have an annoying habit of discarding the burning end before you have finished – a bit of a bugger when you’re driving! Still, at €39 for 200, they were acceptable.

          I assume that it helps to find an outlet where English is spoken too!

          I did read that the supermarkets sell tobacco products in the Czech Republic – and Tesco seems to have quite a majpr presence there, so that may be worth investigating too. I will be a bit time limited, as only there for 3 days.

          Thanks again for the feedback.

  5. Junican says:

    @ MjM.

    Duties in the UK (and Ireland) reflect historical differences which originated from The British Empire. In effect, the BE isolated Britain from other parts of the world which were not part of the BE. Historically, tobacco duties were the result of the conflict with the colonies in America (to weaken the economies of the colonist rebels), and alcohol duties were the result of conflicts with Europe (very generally). I don’t know what the origin of our high petrol duties was.
    In economic terms, tobacco and alcohol duties are not terribly important, but I cannot help but feel that our fuel duties are very damaging to our ability to compete in the world. The only redeeming feature which allows industry to compete is that the UK is a small country, and thus distances between industrial centres are small. Thus, we do not use the same amount of fuel as, say, the USA. However, think how much more competitive the UK could be without these huge petrol duties!
    There are massive ramifications, such as keeping the lower classes in their place. Our political system stinks. We need a (peaceful) revolution.

  6. nisakiman says:

    Yes, the difference between Belarus (€0.92) and Norway (€11.84) is quite staggering. One wonders how they can justify such a usurious rate of tax.

    That was of course a rhetorical question. The antis have given them the excuses and lobbied and encouraged them to engage in this assault on smoker’s wallets. Ye gods, a pack a day Norwegian is shelling out €4,300 a year for his ciggies! Doesn’t bear thinking about…

  7. smokervoter says:

    Frank, I’m happy to report that you now have a 14-year old early adopter in the form of my effervescent young niece who lives in Santa Monica, CA. I relayed Far Too Many of Us to her and she dug in and read it all. She totally ‘got’ what you were saying with this salient parable.

    Yes, that Santa Monica, a.k.a. the Peoples Republic of. The same Santa Monica that ranks vagrants and those who mock and ignore our national sovereignty above native born citizens who happen to enjoy tobacco. It bends over backwards in order to accommodate the homeless and illegal immigrants while debating the legalities of purposefully rendering homeless those who smoke tobacco (and not cannabis of course) in their homes. I suppose the absolute bottom of the pecking order would be the homeless, illegal alien who smokes cigarettes. That must be at least some consolation to the lifetime local smoking resident facing eviction.

    As a force-fed product of Green revolution agitprop and the Agenda 21 driven educational system there she’s knee deep in the hoopla, but she’s got a mind of her own (and she uses it well). She liked the logical flow of your contentions.

    I’ve no intention of letting my niece become a little goose-stepping mankind-hating Trend Nazi without a fight.

  8. RdM says:

    Well I just checked at a local shop, – I never smoke “tailor”/factory made cigarettes myself, those horrible stinky chemical laced papers ruin any remnant taste of whatever ersatz dried out tobacco flakes the glamour packaging conceals, in my opinion – the price of 20 Marlboro Red here in NZ:

    18.20 NZD = 11.0858 EUR (9.18791 GBP)
    (according to http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/ )
    Dunhill is 19.20 NZD

    That’s right up there with Norway…

    But I’d like to see a similar RYO price comparison…

    Here now, a 30g pack of Drum is now NZD 35.90, = 21.8564 EUR (18.1149 GBP)
    and a 50g pack is now 59.20 NZD = 36.0341 EUR (29.8701 GBP)

    I write “now”, because another annual 10% excise tax increase came in on Jan 1st.
    (Yet the retail price for RYO has jumped approx 20%… less, by hearsay, for FM packs)

    We can no longer get Golden Virginia, or a host of other brands… it’s mostly mainstream.
    Pipe tobacco is even more expensive, what few remaining supplies exist. (like $69+NZD/50g)

    Anyway, the retail price for RYO here just before the latest Jan 1st hike was on a par with the international price of silver, per gram, I noted … it’s interesting to compare:- (quite volatile!)
    http://silverprice.org/silver-price-per-kilo.html

    Despite the above complaints, I’d be very interested and grateful if anybody could chime in with comparative RYO pack prices across Europe, – and even the USA – for comparison!

    Thanks, and cheers; – stiff upper lip, & all that! ;=}))

    Ross

    • nisakiman says:

      €36 for a 50g pack of tobacco is beyond parody. Here in Greece I pay €8.60 for a 40g pack of Golden Virginia, which works out to an equivalent of €10.75 for 50g. There are prices for a couple of other countries on Smoking Scot’s blog, here, but I’m not sure about other European countries; someone else will have to fill us in on that.

      • nisakiman says:

        As an afterthought, what might also be interesting is to get an idea of the size of the black market in the various countries and their black market prices for cigarettes / tobacco.

        • RdM says:

          I’ve never, in my whole life, 60+, seen any black market tobacco on offer.
          Living the last half of it in the largest city here;- maybe it’s in other suburbs!

        • nisakiman says:

          Given the ridiculous prices of tobacco in NZ, I’m amazed that there isn’t black market tobacco on every street corner. In Aus the black market is absolutely booming, particularly since last year when they forced the tobacco companies to remove their branding. And although I haven’t lived in UK for nearly twelve years, even when I was there the ‘man with a van’ was a common visitor to the pubs. I used to buy about half my GV ‘imported’ from Belgium, at half the normal price. It looks like the NZ entrepreneurs are missing a trick!

      • RdM says:

        Thanks for that!

        There have also been a few 40g packs here – last year I was enjoying Domingo, mainly the Dark/Negro, but also some of the other variants, until the small local importer seemed to go out of business, for ~ $1/gram… while still aware it was only 4-5 euro in the country of origin.

        Also late last year I was witness to to some young Scandinavian tourist girls absolutely shocked at the price of even the cheapest RYO (“Holiday”, awful, (& with sodium/potassium citrate incorporated even into the tobacco, for fast burning!)) here, ruined their holiday, it seemed!

        The zealots here have temporarily, but for some time, held the politicians in thrall…

        It has to change…

      • Here in the US the Antis are having absolute piddlyfits over the fact that we can still buy a kilo of quite nicely rollable “pipe tobacco” for about $25 to $35 in some states.

        – MJM

      • Wiel Maessen says:

        50 g of Drum here in Holland is sold for € 8.20, which we consider high… I’ll never emigrate to NZ!

    • smokingscot says:

      @Ross

      This may assist.

      Done as at September last year. Gives details of RYO for 3 and ciggies for 2 EU countries.

      http://www.tichtich.com/tobacco-prices-cyprus-schiphol-greece.html

      I looked into NZ some months back (I’ve got relatives there on both islands). Didn’t much like what I saw. Laugesen and his Health NZ outfit in particular. Unfortunately it’s very lengthy, though I learned much in the writing.

      http://www.tichtich.com/number-of-cigarettes-from-tobacco-pouch.html

      • RdM says:

        Thanks very much;- I’d admired your analysis of Laugesen et al’s studies earlier & wanted to comment, having been witness to it here and formed my own opinions as well… seeing your site.

        I’d be very happy for Frank to share my email address with you, (& vice versa if you agree)

        It’s a lonely old world down here, but I resonate with the Scots, as you’ll see from my surname.

        Frankly, let’s get in touch!

  9. For UK residents, evidence of arguably the biggest disgrace of all is completely absent from the map. The place is very real. I was there – only once – in 1988, where I couldn’t believe my eyes that all the major brands were under 60p for 20. Rock bottom prices!

    If you haven’t guessed from that clue, I’m talking about Gibraltar. Apparently, Spain is very upset (as usual) that the Spanish are smuggling out their ciggies because they are 40% cheaper than in Spain. http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140107/gibraltar-vows-strengthen-fight-against-cigarette-smuggling (as reported on Yahoo and elsewhere too).

    That would make the price 2.85 Euros a packet, yet were Spain to “do” a Falklands, our lads would no doubt be sent to fight for it. No wait. Does it have oil, like the Falklands, Iraq, Libya…?

  10. nisakiman says:

    Off topic, and I don’t know if anyone has linked to this already, but here’s a statement on plain packaging from Imperial Tobacco:

    http://www.imperial-tobacco.com/files/The_Evidence_is_Plain.pdf

    I haven’t read all of it yet, but it’s very good so far.

    In many ways, it is a sad irony that overregulation has led to an increasingly
    unregulated market through increases in illicit tobacco sales.
    In markets where bans on smoking in public places (“SiPPs”) have been implemented, while
    we have generally seen an initial dip in duty paid volumes, overall volume trends have not been
    affected as adult smokers adapt to the new social environment. Whilst this has had little impact
    on prevalence, it has had a profound impact on local economic and social trends as consumers
    stay at home and pub closures have been accelerated.

    In the context of setting out its Tobacco Control Plan for England, the DH published a report by
    Professor Linda Bauld, whom it commissioned to provide an academic review of the
    ‘smokefree’ (smoking ban) legislation that was implemented in England in 2007. As highlighted
    by Imperial Tobacco in June 2011 the review conducted by Linda Bauld – who had a clear conflict of interest – is not methodologically sound and is deliberately selective, and is easily
    refuted using freely available information. It fell well short of the Regulatory Policy Committee’s
    principles by which the robustness and quality of the analysis and evidence used to inform
    policy decisions must be judged. We suggested at the time that the Government should find an
    appropriate and recognised third-party to objectively analyse and review the impact of the 2007
    smoking ban, devoid of the conflicts of interest that are all too apparent in the review paper. At
    the very least, the Government should have conducted an objective evaluation of Linda Bauld’s
    review.
    The disproportionate and ill-considered blanket implementation of the SiPPs ban was further
    highlighted in December 2013 through the media coverage discrediting the links between
    Environmental Tobacco Smoke (“ETS”) and lung cancer. As reported in the Journal of the
    National Cancer Institute on 6 December 2013:
    “The large prospective cohort study of more than 76,000 women…found
    no link between [lung cancer] and secondhand smoke.”

    I copied and pasted that from a PDF file, and had to bugger around with the format, so I hope when I post this the passage is readable! :)

    • I don’t know why, but even when you paste into a formatting-killing programme, it still can appear like this.

      But it sounds like they read Frank’s blog. If you haven’t read my previous witterings, I am going to try and sue the NHS for their duty of care failures over the past year. People laugh when I tell them, but I’m serious. They (that’s GPs, ‘specialists’ and the local health board, via the Dept of Health) don’t care about my health, which means they don’t care about yours or Frank’s or Uncle Tom whatshisname’s.

  11. Barry Homan says:

    I wanted to throw this in at some point, I composed it last week.
    Sung to the tune of Sweet Cream Ladies, Forward March – who remembers that one?

    PC

    PC wussies, shoulder arms
    Round the curve they’re steppin
    PC pussies, failing charms
    Victimhood’s their weapon

    There’s no reasoning with zealots in this age
    They’ll bleat and cheat and lie to seal their wage
    Oh their methods they’ve perfected
    Making sure they’re not affected
    It’s the other bloke whose habits need reform!

    PC lefties, spreading fast
    Out to claim the planet
    PC numpties’ word is last
    If offended, ban it

    Turning simple joys of living into crime
    Up that slippery slope persistently they climb
    No escaping from their clutching
    Soiling everything they’re touching
    Oh they’ll win their case, no matter how lukewarm

    TC anties, forward march
    Prancing twits and –ats
    PC nannies, full of starch
    Panties choked with knots

    They can’t ever see the people, just disease
    In the room, the elephants do as they please
    Ever striving for their dominance
    Wage their wars of zero-tolerance
    Their unending quest to make the world conform!

    PC MPs, warts and all
    Ignorance is bliss
    PC GPs, short and tall
    Each taking the piss

    Healthists govern you today, so don’t get ill
    Odds are witch doctors will cure you, better still
    Cards they’ve quietly been stacking
    So your healthcare sends you packing
    Redefine for you your life, just twist the norm

    PC phonies, here at last
    Humanity’s mutation
    PC cronies, numbers vast
    Achieve through bansturbation

    So while struggling with doubts, they quell defiance
    They’ll just spin the numbers, pass it off as science
    We’ll destroy this huge mirage
    If allowed to clone Farage
    In his solemn words: beware the rising storm!

    PC wussies, life is short
    Find some new endeavour
    PC pussies, news report:
    You won’t live forever

    Hold a sharp eye on the exits when we strike
    We’ll hit back, then dissolve your precious Reich
    All we’ve got for now is blogging
    Still, you all deserve the flogging
    You will get when you confront the angry swarm

    -

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    A piece of ourselves is stubbed out with smoking ban in Hub parks

    January 12, 2014

    I just got back from Germany, where I shot off fireworks in the street on New Year’s Eve along with the friendly neighbors, drove 110 miles per hour on the autobahn, and smoked a cigar in a pub without any problem. So I read about the smoking ban in Boston parks with a mixture of amusement and disgust.

    It seems the city bought the preposterous notion that being downwind from someone enjoying a smoke in the outside air will cause negative health consequences. I suppose we should all retire our barbecue grills and run, not walk, from anything resembling a campfire. There was a time when Bostonians would not have submitted so meekly to such an outrage.

    Modern-day Carry Nations have managed to demonize smoking in much the same way that alcohol prohibition was brought about. This goes on while we subsidize tobacco farmers and generate huge revenues from the absurd level of taxation on tobacco, little of which goes to programs related to smoking.

    Here’s a suggestion for those who prefer not to smell tobacco smoke outdoors: Keep walking.

    Jerry Velona

    Arlington

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/editorials/2014/01/12/piece-ourselves-stubbed-out-with-smoking-ban-hub-parks/pHu9cXQPz6tC1uNrUx4bhP/story.html

    • beobrigitte says:

      Smoking ban in Boston’s parks? I am laughing out loud!!!! Just go to any of them and you will be offered a few times 1$ for a cigarette!!! That’s what happened to me in early September last year…..

  13. harleyrider1978 says:

    Massachusetts Illegal Tobacco Commission: Relevant Background Papers

    Oct 25 2013

    The State of Massachusetts has established a commissioin to study the impacts of the sale of illicit tobacco products.

    Illegal Tobacco Commission

    SECTION 182. There shall be a special commission to study the economic impact of the illegal tobacco market in the commonwealth which shall consist of: the commissioner of revenue or a designee, who shall serve as the chair; the state treasurer or a designee; 1 member of the house of representatives; 1 member of the senate; the secretary of administration and finance or a designee; the attorney general or a designee; the executive director of the Northeast Association of Wholesale Distributors or a designee; the executive director of the New England Convenience Store Association or a designee; and 1 person to be appointed by the governor.

    The commission shall study and report on the illegal tobacco distribution industry in the commonwealth and the resulting loss of tax revenue. The commission shall investigate, report and make recommendations relative to: (1) the regulation, oversight, distribution and sale of all tobacco products sold in the commonwealth; (2) the illegal tobacco market in the commonwealth; (3) the loss of tobacco excise and sales tax revenues in the commonwealth as a result of the illegal tobacco market; (4) methods to maximize the collection of tobacco excise and sales tax revenues being lost to the illegal market; and (5) enforcement and penalties for violations of laws relative to the collection and reporting of all tobacco taxes under chapter 64C of the General Laws.

    The commission shall convene not later than November 1, 2013. The commission shall prepare a report detailing its findings and recommendations, together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry those recommendations into effect, by filing the same with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives, the chairs of the house and senate committees on ways and means and the senate and house chairs of the joint committee on revenue not later than March 1, 2014
    http://www.thecre.com/tpsac/?p=2626

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      State Rep. Brad Hill pointed out during debates on the tax hike that increasing the tobacco tax would provide neighbor New Hampshire with a “stimulus package.”

      “Every time you increase this type of a tax, you’re going to see an increase in sales in New Hampshire,” said Hill during a floor debate on the increase. “In New Hampshire within a month of passing the last tax increase, if you went to the smoke shops – I counted the plates – over 80% of the plates are Massachusetts consumers. That’s what’s going to happen.”

      • beobrigitte says:

        This is true. It was an 88 year old lady (smoker!) who told me that I MUST make the ca. 1/2 journey to New Hampshire to buy cigarettes/tobacco. She, herself very much enjoys the once/week trip to buy her weekly stash of cigarettes.
        I hope to find some “Gitanes” for her the end of this month – she grew up in France and Gitanes were her favourite cigarettes. I shall send a couple of packs as a present to her. (I’m not sure what the custom officers do if I send more….)

        By the way, 88 years old, smoker since the age of 16, physically and mentally on “top form” raises a few questions to the anti-smoking brigade.

        • Rose says:

          From the anti-tobacco point of view, it was a really bad idea to make the elderly stand outside so that everyone could see them, or perhaps ASH believed it’s own propaganda and thought that there weren’t any.

        • beobrigitte says:

          Rose, I did witness this. Opposite our hotel there was a big building with extremely loud, well functioning air condition. (I had problems with the huge temperature difference and switched the air conditioning off, opened the door to my room and sat on the step with my coffee and cigarettes in the mornings)
          I soon figured out what this big building was – an old folks’ home. The inmates (sorry, to me it was this!) relied on carers taking them across the road to the hotel car park. Sadly, when they saw me they hid behind a wall. When I waved to them, holding a cigarette, they waved back, but I never got the chance to talk to them. I am still chasing up the truth of what happens to the old and frail smokers….

  14. harleyrider1978 says:

    The positive effects of nicotine
    Jacques le Houezec | 12 January 2014
    Nicotine is the major alkaloid found in tobacco, but it can be found in lower concentrations in plants of the same family, potatoes, tomatoes or eggplants. Humans have always been curious to find plants that can have pleasurable or medicinal effects. Tobacco has been used in South America from pre-Colombian times to the present for magico-religious, medicinal and recreational purposes.

    Ritual tobacco use in shamanism is probably as old as the beginning of horticulture, some 8000 years ago. American Indians recognised tobacco (nicotine) as a powerful insecticide for seed protection, and as human vermifuge. Shamans used large amounts of nicotine to induce acute nicotine intoxication, resulting in catatonic states representing symbolic death. Because shamans developed high tolerance to nicotine effects, and because nicotine is quickly eliminated from the body (with a two hours half-life), they returned “miraculously” to life after a few hours (1).

    It appears that shamans were exploiting the fact that large doses of nicotine can be ingested without fatality (up to 1500 mg in a recent suicide case report), contrary to the assumptions often reported in many publications, that 30-60 mg of nicotine is a lethal dose in adults (2).

    Over the centuries, tobacco use became common in most parts of the world. The ability of nicotine to regulate mood and improve cognitive functioning, and acting as a strong reinforcer of tobacco dependence, is probably the motivation for its widespread use. The most effective way of delivering nicotine to the brain (where most effects occur) is by smoking tobacco, particularly because smokers can modify their nicotine intake on a puff-by-puff basis (called self-titration of nicotine). Smokers can control their nicotine intake to obtain a desired effect, such as stimulation (with low doses) or sedation (with larger doses). Nicotine is then a very suitable drug by which you can get the effect you need at the time you need it, because inhalation with tobacco smoke (or now with e-cigarette vapour) brings nicotine to the brain very quickly (actually faster than an intravenous injection).

    Nicotinic receptors that bind nicotine and produce its effects are ubiquitous (they are present in almost all parts of the body), and there are several forms of nicotinic receptors, each with specific localisation and function. Research on the diversity of central nicotinic cholinergic receptors illustrates the complexity of the effects that nicotine has on different neurotransmitters in the brain (3). Consequently, nicotine has been shown to have positive effects on some medical conditions.

    The effects of nicotine on Alzheimer’s disease are controversial, but it has been shown that patients with Alzheimer’s present large reductions of nicotinic receptors in both the neocortex and hippocampus compared with healthy people. The positive effects of nicotine on cognitive function suggests that nicotinic receptors may contribute to normal cognitive functioning, and that patients with Alzheimer’s disease may benefit from nicotine therapy.

    Similarly, epidemiological studies have clearly demonstrated that smoking protects from Parkinson’s disease, with an odds ratio of about 0.5 for smokers compared to non-smokers. This is due to the effects of nicotine on dopamine neurons (Parkinson’s disease is caused by the increasing loss of these neurons), both by stimulating motor function, and protecting the neurons from dying. Several studies have failed to show a therapeutic effect of nicotine on Parkinson’s, but those studies used low doses of nicotine, particularly because patients with Parkinson’s disease are often non-smokers. However, in a pilot study on 6 patients (all non-smokers) high doses of nicotine delivered by patches (up to 105 mg/day) over 17 weeks showed a clear improvement of their motor function while their dopaminergic treatment (L-Dopa) was reduced. The most frequent side effects were nausea and vomiting (in 4 out of 6 patients), but these were well controlled with anti-emetic drugs. Unfortunately, no pharmaceutical company has been interested in funding a placebo-controlled trial to confirm this positive effect (4).

    Gilles de la Tourette’s syndrome is a genetic disorder resulting from basal ganglia abnormality that is typically treated with dopaminergic antagonists, such as the antipsychotic drug haloperidol. Animal studies have suggested that the use of nicotine could have beneficial effects in patients with Tourette’s. Again, a few uncontrolled small studies have shown that a short nicotine treatment improved the clinical signs of Tourette’s patients, but no interest has emerged from the pharmaceutical industry to explore this positive effect of nicotine (5).

    In psychiatric patients, nicotine use could be viewed as a self-medication. This is the case in depression and schizophrenia. There is considerable evidence that tobacco smoking and depression are linked. As in all psychiatric conditions, smoking prevalence is higher in depressed patients than in the general population. In depression, this might not be due solely to the effects of nicotine, as it has been shown that tobacco smoke contains substances with antidepressant effects (monoamine oxidases or MAO), but again some small studies have indicated a possible positive effect of nicotine treatment (6). Schizophrenia is also a condition where smoking prevalence is very high (>80%). The psycho-stimulant effects of nicotine might help schizophrenia patients compensate for their cognitive deficits, particularly attentional processes, which have been shown to normalised when schizophrenia patients smoke (7). Schizophrenia patients may also use nicotine to cope with their mood disturbances, like anhedonia, or more generally to ameliorate their negative symptoms (apathy, lack of motivation), or to lessen the side effects of neuroleptics (anti-Parkinsonian effects) that are known to induce extrapyramidal symptoms (restlessness or akathisia). A positive effect of nicotine patches on these symptoms has been demonstrated in non-smokers treated with neuroleptics for psychotic disorders (8).

    All these positive aspects of nicotine use have been reviewed 15 years ago (9), but little progress has been made to explore further these potential beneficial effects of nicotine. Renewed interest in nicotine science, linked with the recent development of e-cigarettes, might inspire new investigations into the positive effects of nicotine including its potential role in disease prevention and treatment.

    References:
    http://nicotinepolicy.net/all-authors/85-jacques-le-houezec/640-the-positive-effects-of-nicotine

  15. Horsa & Hengist fan Club says:

    Rejoice ,rejoice my fellow Britons,very soon our land will be awash with real cheap baccy (packet and RYO)thanks to our dear friends in the balkans Romania and Bulgaria who are together with their Romany friends the top dogs at shifting any commodity across continents.
    Of course our Customs Jobsworths have allready received their orders not to be to vigorous
    checking our romany friends to avoid criticism of “racial prejudice”
    So my dear beloved British Bretheren let us open our arms and welcome our Balkan buddies
    who will save us a fortune and stuff the British Exchequer in one sweet piece of importation.

  16. harleyrider1978 says:

    Smoking ban burning into Gov’t coffers

    BY BALFORD HENRY Senior staff reporter henry@jamaicaobserver.com
    THE Government has acknowledged that the smoking ban introduced last July by the minister of health is having a significant negative impact on its revenue projections for the current fiscal year.

    In its Fiscal Policy Paper 2013/14 Interim Report tabled in the House of Representatives late December, Minister of Finance and Planning Dr Peter Phillips pointed to a significant decline in taxes from tobacco sales as one of the primary reasons for the shortfall in tax revenues up to then.

    “A significant decline in receipts from tobacco, as a result of the smoking ban in public spaces, effective July 15, 2013, also contributed to the reduction in SCT (Special Consumption Tax),” Phillips noted in the report, which is to be studied by Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) on Wednesday.

    The minister has since confirmed the report in interviews with the media but has maintained that no new taxes will be introduced to cover a widening gap in revenue projections expected to continue into 2014/15.

    Phillips is also insisting that while the revenues are being impacted by the ban, the revenue targets for 2013/14 will not be changed.

    He first made the statement while responding to questions from former Opposition spokesman on Finance Audley Shaw, who expressed concern in the House about the revenue loss implications for both the industry and the Government from a reduction in cigarette consumption, up to next March when the current financial year ends.

    “We will continue to monitor the situation, but I want to make it absolutely clear that the revenue numbers that the government announced will remain, and that there will be no slippage in relation to overall targets for revenue,” Phillips responded.

    Shaw insisted then that the Government was “operating in the dark” because although the ban was imposed on cigarette consumption and not cigarette sales, it should have been obvious that sales would have been affected.

    “The issue, therefore, will have to be how will that be replaced, going forward,” Shaw commented.

    Dr Phillips responded that, “all things being equal”, there would be a reduction in consumption, but there was no indication of the pace at which the reduction would occur.

    One of the areas which is being seriously affected by the reduction is the National Health Fund (NHF). Cigarette producer Carreras says that the bulk of the approximately $11 billion in taxes on cigarettes finances up to 75 per cent of the NHF’s activities. However, communications director at the Ministry of Health, Neville Graham, is insisting that only 25 per cent of the NHF’s budget is actually financed by cigarette tax revenue.

    Graham also conceded that the smoking ban was affecting receipts from cigarette sales, but explained that when it was first raised by Carreras last year there was no evidence to support the claim
    http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Smoking-ban-burning-into-Gov-t-coffers_15757727

  17. alanxxx says:

    I found the Czech Republic some years ago quite dear for RYO baccy – Route 66 in 100g bags was almost a reasonable deal, it burns fast and tastes Americanish.

    Hungary was much better for RYO (again about 2 years ago) – 40g of Domingo pale blue was 780 fl for 40g, that’s 2. 18 GBP (Domingo is a kind of Samson like baccy).

    Hungarian price for Drum Yellow was 40g for 1270 fl which is about 3. 50 GBP.

    Golden Virginia reached the heady heights of 1370 fl for 40g which is about 3.80 GBP – though the stuff I got tasted a bit dodgy and struck me as possibly fake. Could be wrong in this – Hungary struck me as the kind of country where there might be no limit on tar content, so maybe it was simply proper baccy like our parents used to smoke.

    Bulk buying in both countries would mean going round little shops and buying small amounts, I found that little English was spoken.

    Dutch Golden Virginia is Euros 8. 10 for 50g, £6.70.

    • alanxxx says:

      For RdM in NZ – there are inconsistencies in the tax structure from country to country in Europe.
      In Britain 50 g of RYO is taxed as if it were 80 tailor made cigarettes.
      In Germany and Holland 50g of RYO is taxed as if it were 20 tailor mades.
      God knows why, but the Czech Republic hammers RYO with tax and Hungary doesn’t.

      If you go to the “Nothing 2 declare” blog listed in Frank’s blogroll there’s more information.

  18. With prices and health concerns regarding commercial types of tobacco products skyrocketing, a new generation is discovering that growing and processing their own tax free tobacco, free of dangerous chemical additives, is a very simple and straightforward process!

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