The first plain packages from Philip Morris International Inc. (PM) s Marlboro Advance brand were delivered to the store on Sydney s harbor foreshore Sept. 28. and are being kept, in accordance with a state law, out of sight in an undecorated white cabinet.

The legislation passed last December also bans decorative ridges, embossing, bulges or other irregularities of shape or texture, and mandates the form of packs corners, the way their lids open, the color of the glue that holds them together and the appearance of their foil liners.

No trademarks may appear, and all product names must be in an identical Lucida Sans font on a background of greenish brown Pantone 448C hue.

Policing Packaging

We will be policing plain packaging very closely, the country s health minister, Tanya Plibersek, said in a Sept. 12 interview with Channel 10 television. Young people are the ones most affected by the packaging and by the advertising, and no parent wants their kid to start smoking.

At Alexanders Cigars in Toorak, Melbourne s most expensive suburb, owner Danny Maroudis said the packaging doesn t look as bad as he feared, and is unlikely to affect sales anyway.

People buy a cigar because they smoke that particular type it s not about the label, he said. At the end of the day, a smoker will smoke, and if they want to give up, they give up.

While ordinary packs can still be sold in stores until Dec. 1, all manufacturing and packaging of the old style cigarettes at British American Tobacco Plc (BATS) s factory near Sydney s Botany Bay and Philip Morris s facility in suburban Melbourne stopped Oct. 1, in accordance with the law.

As old product lines sell out, the new packaging is starting to be sent to retailers. Six out of the top 10 product lines sold by Australian supermarkets are cigarette brands, according to 2007 data from the Cancer Council, a health charity.

Plain packaged cigarettes under Imperial Tobacco Plc (IMT) s Peter Jackson brand and some BAT lines are already arriving at branches of Wesfarmers Ltd (WESDA). owned Coles, the country s second largest supermarket chain, Melbourne based spokesman Jon Church said by e mail.

Avoid Penalties

Claire Kimball, a spokeswoman for supermarket leader Woolworths Ltd. (WOW), didn t respond to two phone messages and an e mail seeking comment.

BAT is working with about 33,000 retailers around the country to ensure they can return unsold packs to avoid penalties of up to A$1.1 million that will apply for each pack sold after Dec. 1, Vesna Ciric, a Sydney based spokeswoman said by e mail.

BAT spokesman Scott McIntyre said in an e mailed statement today the High Court reasons show that the tobacco industry had to prove the government gained a benefit from plain packaging, which he said is a peculiar requirement of the Australian Constitution which many countries don t have.

Difficult to Implement

Plain packaging will be very difficult for many countries to implement due to this reason, McIntyre said.

Imports of plain packaged cigarettes from Imperial Tobacco s overseas factories had already begun, Sonia Stewart, a Sydney based spokeswoman, said by e mail. Philip Morris didn t respond to an e mail and phone message seeking comment.

Government inspectors will be closely scrutinizing the packets over the next two months, on the lookout for even small deviations from the rules, Simon Crittle, a spokesman for Plibersek, said by phone from Canberra.

Packets of Imperial Tobacco s Peter Stuyvesant brand carrying semi plain packaging with the slogan It s what s on the inside that counts were a sick joke, Plibersek said Sept. 12, and other packaging being rolled out ahead of the ban may not be clear enough to meet the regulation.

Cut Smoking

The images that had appeared on some of the packs graphic health warnings, photos of people with gangrene weren t as sharp as they could have been, Crittle said. The reds weren t as red as they should be.

The plain packaging laws form part of a suite of measures, including a 25 percent tax increase and a cut to duty free allowances, intended to reduce the prevalence of smoking from the current 15 percent of the population to 10 percent by 2018.

About 15,000 Australians die from tobacco related diseases every year, with social and economic costs of about A$32 billion a year, according to the government.

Appeals against the Australian plain packaging law have also been lodged at the World Trade Organization by tobacco and cigarette producing countries Honduras, Ukraine and the Dominican Republic, claiming it violates trademark rights and restricts trade.

Precedent Set

Cigarette companies are right to fear that new regulations will catch on in other countries, according to David Hammond, an expert in tobacco control at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

Once tobacco control measures are established in one country they spread to other markets, he said by e mail. I would be very surprised if other countries didn t follow the international precedent that s being set by Australia.

Mandatory picture warnings, first introduced in Canada in 2001, have now been rolled out in more than 40 countries worldwide, including Brazil, Turkey, and Ukraine, according to the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance, an anti smoking group. All three countries are among the world s top 10 cigarette markets, according to data from Tobacco Merchants Association.

While similar picture warnings have been passed in the U.S. under a 2009 law, implementation has been blocked by a decision in August in the Court of Appeals, citing violations of First Amendment protections on free speech.

The government will probably appeal the case to the Supreme Court, lawyers at Washington, D.C. based Hyman, Phelps, & McNamara said in an Aug. 28 blog post.

Similar Restrictions

Other countries with less stringent tobacco regulation may move straight to restrictions along the lines being pursued in Australia, attorney general Nicola Roxon said in an Aug. 31 interview. India, Russia, the U.K., South Africa, Thailand, New Zealand and smaller states in the Caribbean and Pacific islands all expressed interest in plain packaging at a September 2011 U.N. summit, she said.

It will be a big step if the U.K. decides to do it or India decides to go down this path as well, she said.

At Bogart s House of Fine Cigars and Tobacco, a small store built into the basement of the columned building that was the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) s head office until 2010, a permitted 3 square meters of cigars are still on display alongside a signed letter from Bill Clinton and framed photographs of visits to the shop by actors Sylvester Stallone and Billy Connolly.

Those shelves must be closed off by next July as existing laws are tightened, and the store s two suppliers will visit over the next two months to replace the ornate bands, tubes and boxes in which Bogart s stock is currently displayed, said co manager Pauline Stein. That ll take much of the appeal and romance out of higher end cigars, many of which are mainly bought as gifts, she said.

Are you going to spend A$110 on that? she said, showing off the pokerwork wooden box in which El Credito, the store s costliest cigar, is still individually packaged. I don t think so.

To contact the reporter on this story David Fickling in Sydney at dfickling

To contact the editor responsible for this story Stephanie Wong at swong139

Marlboro red full flavor cigarettes versus american spirit full flavor cigarettes – yahoo voices –

Cigarette smoking guide
Ever since I was in high school, I have been smoking Marlboro full flavor cigarettes. I count the number of cigarettes that I smoke and try to keep it at approximately twelve per day. The type of package that I usually purchase is the iconic red and white Marlboro Box, both regular size and 100’s.

Recently, a friend of mine gave me a full pack of American Spirit Full Flavor Box cigarettes. He explained that normally, he smokes a lighter style of natural American Spirit cigarettes and bought two packs of the full flavor variety, only to discover that they were too strong for him. He said that after smoking one pack of the American Spirit Full Flavor Box cigarettes, he was ready to return to smoking the lighter variety.

I gratefully accepted this gift from my friend and I smoked these cigarettes over the course of a couple of weeks. In addition to the American Spirit cigarettes, I was also still smoking some Marlboro Full Flavor cigarettes and noticed some similarities and differences between the two products. I realized that the opportunity for a product comparison review was presenting itself. Presented here, in an effort to assist the consumer, is an article which reviews and examines Marlboro Red Full Flavor Box cigarettes and American Spirit Full Flavor Box cigarettes.

The size of Marlboro Red Full Flavor Box cigarettes and American Spirit Full Flavor Box cigarettes is virtually identical. These standard sized cigarettes are also known as King sized cigarettes.

Strength / Flavor
Through the tears, several people have told me that Marlboro Red Full Flavor cigarettes are too strong for them. I’ve been smoking them for so long, that it never occured to me that they were a strong cigarette. After smoking a pack of American Spirit Full Flavor Box cigarettes, I think that they are slightly stronger than the Marlboros cigarettes. While they are at least as strong as the Marlboro Red Full Flavor Box smokes, I found that I much preferred the flavor of the Marlboros.

To me, the natural American Spirit Full Flavor Box cigarettes burned a little hotter than the Marlboros and I did not feel that they satisfied my nicotine urge. Of course, that is only one consumer’s opinion and you might disagree, if you try these cigarettes. There is something about the flaxor of Marlboro Red Full Flavor Box cigarettes that satisfies my nicotine urges like no other brand of cigarettes can do.

With cigarette prices already being sky high, it is hard to call the price of any brand of cigarettes reasonable. In the Hartford, Connecticut area, where I reside, the regular retail price charged for natural American Spirit Full Flavor Box cigarettes is usually a little bit higher than the price charged for Marlboro Red Full Flavor Box cigarettes.

Marlboro Red Full Flavor Box cigarettes in my estimation, are quite possibly the most well known brand of cigarettes in America. That having been said, these cigarettes are stocked and sold at almost cigarette retailer in the United States. American Spirit Full Flavor Box cigarettes on the other hand, are not nearly as well known as Marlboros and consequently, they are not stocked and sold at nearly as many retailers as are the Marlboro cigarettes.

The best bet for finding a retailer who stocks American Spirit Full Flavor Box cigarettes is to go to the “retailers” section of their web site. Aside from that, these cigarettes can usually be found at tobacco and / or smoke shops, as well as at many convenience stores, pharmacies and supermarkets.

The quality of both Marlboro Red Full Flavor Box cigarettes and American Spirit Full Flavor Box cigarettes is top rate. Each of these brands of cigarettes is tightly rolled and they each burn evenly. Although I prefer the flavor of the Marlboro cigarettes, they both offer full flavor.

Marlboro Red Full Flavor Box cigarettes and American Spirit Full Flavor Box cigarettes are both packaged in cardboard boxes that feature flip top lids. These flip top lids are one of the main reasons that I prefer box cigarette packages over soft packs, the boxes help to prevent the cigarettes from breaking and I think that cigarettes also stay fresh longer in boxes than they do in soft packs.

The red and white color scheme of the Marlboro Red Full Flavor Box cigarettes is a familiar sight to many consumers, whether they be smokers or not. The package of American Spirit Full Flavor Box cigarettes is not familiar to most consumers. The front of the package features an illustration of a Native American man wearing a head dress and it appears that he is smoking a pipe.

Overall Rating
All things considered, Marlboro Red Full Flavor Box cigarettes and American Spirit Full Flavor Box cigarettes are both high quality products. Each of these cigarette varieties offers a pleasant and full bodied flavor that would probably quench most smokers’ nicotine urges. Although I personally prefer the Marlboro’s, I would still recommend both of these brands.

Personal experience with the products