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What influenced your brand selection?


View Poll Results: What influence your brand selection?
Father or Mother 26 23.42%
Brother or Sister 5 4.50%
Friend 20 18.02%
Cigarette Advertising 40 36.04%
None of the Above or Don't Remember 20 18.02%
Voters: 111. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-29-2016, 05:23 PM
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Default What influenced your brand selection?

From reading the various stories here at cigreviews, it seems that most smokers choose the brand smoked by their parents, siblings, or friends as their first cigarette brand.

My case was different, though. My parents and older sister were all non-smokers. Sure, there were many smokers in my extended family on both sides--virtually all of the males on my mother's side were smokers and all of them smoked Marlboro Reds, except for an uncle who was a pipe smoker. 2/3 of my father's side were smokers and their brands varied more than what I could possibly have kept track of. Although I was handed a lit cigarette by an older boy on the school bus when I was in 7th grade, I was too stunned, and afraid, to smoke it. My decision, when the time came a little over a year later, to try smoking was my own, without direct influence from anybody else. But that meant I had to choose a brand, out of the many brands available, right from the outset.

I had been "studying" cigarette ads in magazines and newspapers for more than a year, and it was this ad shown below that had the decisive influence in choosing the brand of my first cigarette, which was FF Salem Kings. This ad conveyed the exact image that I fantasized as being my "older self"--I wanted to be him! The question "Isn't it time you enjoyed smoking?" I took in a double sense: (1) What are you waiting for, isn't it time you "enjoyed" (meaning "started") smoking? and (2) the ad's intended meaning, isn't it time you enjoyed the great, fresh menthol taste of Salem cigarettes?



I didn't become a "regular" or daily smoker right from the start. I "experimented" for more than a year: I'd buy a pack, smoke 4 or 5 a day, then go for a week or two after finishing the pack before getting another pack and repeating the cycle all over again. I think I knew I was too young to be smoking now, but kept being drawn back to it. But all the brands/styles I was trying in that period were menthol. When I committed to becoming a daily smoker, when I turned 15, I chose FF Newport for my brand because it came in a flip-top box, whereas Salem back then only came in soft packs, and soft packs were impractical for guys to carry on them; i.e., a flip-top box held up better in a pocket than a soft pack (100s were also impractical for the same reason). So, my choice of FF Newport Kings was entirely for practical reasons--advertising had nothing to do with it. It was, however, the second most popular brand, after Marlboro, in my high school.

I smoked Newports for two years, then one day when I was almost 17, for reasons I can't even remember, I decided to buy a pack of Marlboro Reds instead of my usual Newports. I was in for quite a surprise (and not a pleasant one): the first few cigarettes from that pack made me feel sick to my stomach right after I finished smoking it. The nausea passed after a few minutes, but nevertheless I was stunned. No cigarette ever made me sick before, not even my first, and here I had been smoking daily for two years and now I get sick?! I was baffled. But because I had an entire pack (if that hadn't been the case, I think I certainly would have went right back to menthols), I stuck with it and by maybe the fifth cigarette I ceased feeling sick afterwards. So now I started trying out different non-menthol brands, and finally settled on FF Winston Kings as my primary brand for the next 15 years. I was familiar with Winston ads, and it came in a flip-top box, and I liked the taste and strength better than all the other brands I tried. So advertising and practical reasons were likely of equal influence in my choice of Winston.

What influenced your brand selection? What brand was your first cigarette and why did you choose that brand? Did you change brands later in life, and for what reasons?

Last edited by masklofumanto; 08-29-2016 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 08-29-2016, 06:03 PM
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I too was influenced by the many ads for cigarettes and the TV ads for the same. However the thing that persuaded my choice was when an aunt and uncle at Sunday dinner at the grandparents pronounced to everyone that they had switched from an unknown to me unfiltered brand to the new filtered Marlboro in the red pack. Their reviews to the people present were one that would have made any ad agency proud. This was before the "Marlboro Man" ads and most of the ads were women smoking Marlboro. It was not to be the first cigarette I smoked but became the first I purchased from a vending machine at age 12. It is also what my wife and I smoke still today.
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Old 08-29-2016, 08:43 PM
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Before I vote, I am curious whether you mean the brand selection of my first pack, or the brand that I usually buy?
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Old 08-29-2016, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by L337 NUB View Post
Before I vote, I am curious whether you mean the brand selection of my first pack, or the brand that I usually buy?
Good question. I suppose I had your "first brand" primarily in mind. Also, after setting up the poll (which cannot be subsequently changed), it occurred to me that I should have included an option of "Other Relative."
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Old 08-29-2016, 09:55 PM
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Thx for the response and clarification

In the case of my first brand, I suppose I must say "other." I often would smoke a black and mild or Hav-a-Tampa, particularly when stoned or drinking, so really, when I first thought of smoking on a daily basis, cigarettes in particular, I had no idea which brands I might find agreeable. Though both parents smoked while I was growing up, and a few friends smoked occasionally, none of them preferred menthol, so I was kinda on my own in that regard. As dumb and silly as it sounds, I mostly made the decision based on 2 factors: 1) Which brands and styles owned the most shelf space in the store, and 2) which were most popular among customers according to the staff. Those ideas are closely related, of course, and mostly the cashier said the ones with the most rows on display sold the most. With little else to go on, I opted for the Newports.
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Old 08-29-2016, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by L337 NUB View Post
Thx for the response and clarification

In the case of my first brand, I suppose I must say "other." I often would smoke a black and mild or Hav-a-Tampa, particularly when stoned or drinking, so really, when I first thought of smoking on a daily basis, cigarettes in particular, I had no idea which brands I might find agreeable. Though both parents smoked while I was growing up, and a few friends smoked occasionally, none of them preferred menthol, so I was kinda on my own in that regard. As dumb and silly as it sounds, I mostly made the decision based on 2 factors: 1) Which brands and styles owned the most shelf space in the store, and 2) which were most popular among customers according to the staff. Those ideas are closely related, of course, and mostly the cashier said the ones with the most rows on display sold the most. With little else to go on, I opted for the Newports.
If I remember your other posts correctly, your current primary brand is Marlboro Menthol, right? When and why did you change brands? For that matter, given that everyone you knew didn't smoke menthols, why was that your preference? Was your first cigarette a menthol cigarette?

At the young age at which I started smoking, my reason for starting with menthols was because I thought they would taste better. When I switched to non-menthols I found that I liked the flavor of tobacco better without the menthol (right from that first pack of Marlboro Reds, even though the first few made me feel temporarily sick to my stomach), which was another surprise and was the reason I never went back to smoking menthol cigarettes. I still don't mind the taste of Newports, but Salem is just too minty to me--ironic considering that Salem was the first brand I ever smoked. I've never tried Kool or Marlboro Menthol, by the way, though I don't think that Marlboro Menthol existed back when I was smoking menthols.

Last edited by masklofumanto; 08-29-2016 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 08-30-2016, 06:05 AM
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after smoking(stealing) my parent's smokes for a while, I knew there had to be something that tasted better. Tareyton and Barclay were their brands.
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Old 08-30-2016, 06:12 AM
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I smoke Camel Black and that has been my brand since I bought my first pack.
I had no idea which brand I was going to buy, I just knew I wanted to try smoking so needed cigarettes. as I stood waiting for my turn at the tobacconist my eye fell on Camel Black and I liked the look of the pack so when it was my turn I asked for them.
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Old 08-30-2016, 10:12 AM
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As I've posted around here before, it was a friend's mom who turned me on to my favorite brand. Benson and Hedges Premium are my absolute favorite cigarette even though I only buy them on occasion.

I started out smoking my parent's cigarettes since they were the ones I could steal with ease. They were Marlboro Ultra Lights. At the time, I had never tried anything else, so they were perfectly fine with me. Any cigarette would've been "strong" for me at the time, so strength and taste weren't exactly a concern.

But then when my friend's mom "busted" me for smoking, everything changed. She agreed to keep it a secret from my parents and gladly indulged my habit. She smoked Benson and Hedges Premium; over a pack a day.

I've detailed the story before, but the first time she called me out for smoking after busting me -- when I was riding in the car with her on the way to her house -- she offered me one of her B&H. At that time, I wasn't in a position to really notice and/or appreciate the quality of the cigarette over what I was used to, as I was still processing the fact that 1) my friend's mom now knew I smoked and 2) she was allowing me to smoke with her. As such, I just smoked that first B&H without paying attention to the very noticeable difference in strength and taste.

That changed the second time I smoked with her. One weekend, my mom was out of town and my dad was in the office on a Saturday afternoon. I had a history project for school due on Monday -- a group project in which I was paired up with a girl in my class. We had already finished it, but I got a call from her on that Saturday saying she needed another copy of our citations page. I had to hand deliver it to her. She lived relatively close by, but I didn't have my own car yet.

Luckily, after busting me for smoking, my friend's mom had given me her cell phone number to text or call her if I ever wanted my own pack of cigarettes instead of taking one from my parents, and if she was able to, she'd help me out. So, needing a ride to this girl's house, I gave her a call and asked if she could help me out. I initially contacted my buddy (her son) first since he had his own car, but he was visiting his dad's side of the family for the weekend, which then prompted me to give his mom a call instead, as I legitimately had no other viable option at the time.

She immediately agreed. After 20 minutes or so, she pulled up in our front drive way and off we went. Keep in mind, I had not really seen or spoken to her since that day she "busted" me. She had offered to help me out with acquiring cigarettes and everything, but since that had been around 3 weeks earlier, I was still a little nervous and uncertain about how that would work out. Maybe she had a change of heart for all I knew.

After we set out, she got her pack of Benson and Hedges from the center console, extracted one, and it "accidentally" fell on the passenger side floorboard right at my feet. Like I said, I was still unsure how this would play out, so I reached down, picked it up, and handed it to her. She simply smiled and said, "You can have that one," as she handed me her lighter.

I lit up, gave the lighter back to her as she lit her own cigarette. Now, winter had just begun to set in, so it was FREEZING outside. Once we both had our cigarettes lit, I fumbled with the passenger window and lowered it a bit too far. She adjusted it for me using the driver's side control and opened both just a crack. She said, "Sorry, I hope you don't mind, but it's so cold outside." Basically, the car filled up with smoke, which I of course didn't mind.

We got to the girl's house. I called her to let her know I was outside. She stepped out the front door and came up to the car. My buddy's mom had just pulled out another cigarette and was digging around for her lighter as I handed the page to my classmate and made small talk. Suddenly, my friend's mom asked if I had the lighter. Sure enough, it was in my lap. I handed it to her, and my classmate shot me an inquisitive look. My friend's mom noticed, laughed, and said, "He's my smoking buddy. Sh! Don't tell anyone."

My classmate said, "She lets you smoke?" I shrugged, smiled and nodded. She then said, "That's so cool! I wish I knew parents who would let me smoke."

At the time, I had no idea this chick smoked, but that's a story for another day.

Anyway, we drove off shortly after and I asked if I could bum another cigarette. "Sure," she said, "But how about we take this opportunity to get your own pack. You said you usually just smoke your parents cigarettes, right?"

"Yep, Marlboro Ultra Lights," I said.

"Gross," she said, laughing. "How about I buy you a pack of my cigarettes? I'm sure you've been able to tell they are much better."

And that's when I realized that I hadn't even paid any attention to the brand differences. We went to a nearby grocery store since she had to do some shopping anyway. We went to the check out aisle with the cigarette display and she bought herself a fresh carton of Benson and Hedges. I loaded the groceries into her trunk. Once we were back in the car, she opened the carton and handed me my own pack of Benson and Hedges. "And here's an extra one for your help," she said, handing me an extra pack.

"You've been smoking cigarettes from the pack I usually just keep in the car, but these are fresh. I promise they are much better."

I removed the cellophane and accepted her light as she extended the lighter to me after lighting her own. I sat back and exhaled the first drag.

"Much better, right?" she asked. Since I was paying attention this time, I immediately noticed the difference. It was much stronger and simply tasted better.

"Ok, yeah, I could get used to these," I said.

Partly because I really enjoyed these cigarettes and partly because I wanted to "impress" my friend's mom with my smoking, I immediately lit up another one with the butt of the first cigarette. She laughed and said, "Look at you!" as she followed suit.

Ever since then, I've had a strong preference for B&H over every other brand by far. The only other brand that has come close for me were Davidoff Magnums, but they stopped selling those in the US almost immediately, unfortunately.
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Old 08-30-2016, 12:29 PM
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It was after "borrowing" my mums John player specials that I got a taste for them and carried on smoking them for several years.
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