Marlboro = McDonalds?


Marlboro, by Cassie


Marlboro are like the McDonalds of the smoking world! That is not as insulting as it may seem to those who, like me, are not big fans of McDonalds. What I mean is that just like McDonalds, where-ever in the world you may be with Marlboro you know what to expect.

When I first started smoking regularly while living in the UK I usually smoked Silk Cut or Rothmans (two brands that I still like). But very soon I started travelling, first as part of my university studies, then as an Au Pair and then and still now as a traveling teacher and sales person. In fact for most of my adult life I have been traveling around Europe sometimes spending almost every week in a different location. I am now based in Switzerland and it is great to have a real home base, but I still travel a lot for work.

I soon discovered that I couldn’t always find my regular brands  outside the UK, so I started experimenting and trying a lot of different brands in the countries I visited. Of course I discovered some brands I really liked, some of which I still smoke from time to time but I also discovered some brands which tasted horrible to me and that was literally money going up in smoke. I also found that even when I could find brands I knew they often tasted completely different in different countries. And so I started smoking Marlboro…

I had always been a bit anti Marlboro. I didn’t like their packaging or their advertising. There were all sorts of rumours about Klu Klux Clan connections, secret society affiliations and them just being a rather uncaring huge multi national company. And their cigarettes were everywhere so just a bit too popular and common for my tastes. Moreover, their taste got a bit of getting used to. British brands had quite distinctive tones of flavour I was familiar with and Marlboro in Europe at least had quite a different aroma, a little rougher and duskier than the cigarettes I had grown up with. But what I discovered over a couple of years was that whether I bought them in Spain or Germany; Austria or Italy they always tasted the same. And I liked that. During that time Marlboro became my regular brand and they have remained that way pretty much ever since. And I do like them.

I do still smoke other brands from time to time for different reasons and depending a lot on my mood, but Marlboro have become the benchmark for me by which I compare and judge other brands.

I mostly smoke Marlboro lights (or gold as we are supposed to call them now). I buy the regular size for the day time to smoke on the go in my fleeting break times or between meetings, and I buy 100s for the evenings when I have a bit more time to enjoy my cigarettes usually together with some wine or perhaps after a meal out.

Marlboro are reliable. You know what you are getting and they taste good. I don’t really care about the extra chemicals they are said to contain to help them burn more regularly and smoothly. They are quite tightly packed with tobacco and often seem to last a bit longer than comparable cigarettes as a result. That is good because the downside is that they tend to be one of the more expensive brands.

Anyway, I like them much more than I like McDonalds!



  1. Jack Sutter · May 29, 2014

    It’s kind of funny that they tend to be more expensive. I don’t travel much, but around here (Southern California, USA) Marlboro’s are probably one of the cheaper ones. In fact that’s part of the reason I stick with them so consistently. If they keep going up in price I might switch over to something else, but taste wise it’s probably my favorite brand.

    (Btw, awesome blog 🙂 .)

    • Cassie & Sophie · May 29, 2014

      Thanks for the compliment. 🙂
      Out of interest, how much does a pack of Marlboro cost in the US?

      • Jack Sutter · May 29, 2014

        $5.60 is about the cheapest you can get them around here, and that’s only because the store I go to (The Cigarette Shack) has awesome prices. At a 7-Eleven they’re about $6.30, or something thereabouts. Of course on the other side of the country I hear New York has jacked their cigarette prices up and taxed them to death, so you’re probably talking over $10 for a pack (I could be wrong on that, but I know it varies a lot from state to state and last I heard NY was about that high).

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