The Philistines In Our Midst — 34 Comments

  1. In the heyday of smoking I remember that absolutely everyone carried a smart cigarette case so the packaging was of absolutely no importance. I’ve noticed that cases are available online that accept the packet in its entirety covering the feeble propaganda in one fell swoop.
    As a pipe smoker I’ve always used a pouch so this whole business of plain packaging is just an irritating by-product of nasty little liars.

  2. I tried a packet of Liaka once in the 70s. Beautiful packaging but the cigarettes tasted pretty bad. Might just be my taste though or perhaps they were stale.

    In the past, tobacco smoking was certainly recommended for the treatment and prevention of asthma attacks. But according to this article, the advert for “Dr Batty’s Asthma Cigarettes” is a modern fake rather than a Victorian advert.

  3. I’d forgotten that State Express 555 sponsored Subaru. My eldest daughter (37) is a Subaru nut. She loves fast cars, and her current ride is her second Subaru. I drove the last one she had, and it was frighteningly fast. The current one is even faster, with larger (after-market) turbos and re-mapped electronics – she tells me it hits a tad over 400 bhp on the dynamometer. The previous one was a mere 340 bhp.

  4. Yes, cigarette cases were popular in the war years, but had pretty much fallen out of fashion by the time I started smoking in the early 60s. Maybe because the factory packaging had become more robust. I smoke roll-ups, and like you, use a tobacco pouch – have done for years. So I don’t have to be offended by the gross illustrations that have been recently mandated by the EU’s TPD.

  5. That’s a shame about Dr Batty’s asthma fags! 🙂 It certainly looks genuine! Interesting article, though.

  6. Yes, I had a few images of French brands I was going to use – Gitanes, Caporal, Boyards, Disque Bleu – but I’d uploaded so many images I had to cull a few to make the post a bit more digestible.

  7. Lovely images;- I smoked Black Sobrainies in the 70’s, and a few of the coloured ones – and some of the very dark Dutch RYO blends, White Ox? and a few others.

    Just a plug again for (only pipe tobaccos.)

    Browse by brand. All have images and reviews. (Assert that you’re over 18!)

    Dunhill, for instance, as a well known one, has 74 blends listed.

    Early Morning Pipe among them:

  8. OK, I can’t embed images… go to the page:

    Tobacco needs to be rehabilitated in the minds of the propagandised public, media commentators and polititians, as a hundreds of years old humanly cultivated agricultural product that with hundreds of years of art craft and scientific understanding behind it, has been developed into a wide and relatively harmless range of products that enhance human existence, that obtain notable and noetic benefits, as does coffee, chocolate, single malt whisky, wine, beer, fine cheeses – these ‘public health’ 5th column people would have us living on protein bars with a fair amount of insect meal, and water…

  9. ‘Noetic’. Lovely. A new word! I had to Google that one. I like new words.

    I think we all must have smoked a Sobranie Black at some point in our lives. I mean, how sophisticated can you get? Black, with gold tips? Stratospheric! Although I seem to remember that they didn’t actually have a filter, just the gold band at the end, like the old cork-tipped fags, so the paper didn’t stick to your lip.

    Yes, loads of pipe tobaccos. And some lovely tins. Or at least, the tins used to be lovely, before the Philistines got their perverted little hands on them.

  10. I like new words too. Friends have introduced me to several!
    But I think we might now have need to be discriminating in our choice of dictionaries.
    So much on the web cheapening/subverting the language now, as per previous forum notes.

    I came across it in the 70’s, a “noetic experience”, perhaps a self-known revelation.

    Google seems to have it like that, and usage peak in the 70’s (can I embed an image?)


    But some dictionaries especially modern ones seem to take any spiritual or mystical meaning out of it, witness

    Oxford Dictionaries has it a bit better, I think – but still backward, outside the experience, I think:

    But it’s origins are Greek, and I’m sure you have the nous to appreciate that! ;=})

    Well, it just tripped off the tongue, er, tapping at the speed of thought, in my libations, er, alcoholic offerings to the muse, the blog, myself. Or better, perhaps

    Lucubrations, which a friend introduced me to, from the Latin,

    Midnight writings… I like it!
    Though some sources put it at solemn or pretentious. I think they don’t understand…


  11. I miss my Black Russian Sobranie since they refused to further deface their lovely box and now don’t sell them here. I loved one after dinner. Does anyone know where they still sell them? It might be worth a trip.

  12. I didn’t realise they’d stopped selling them in UK. Mind you, I can’t say I blame them. This stupidity of ‘plain’ packaging is a crime beyond belief. How on earth have we allowed these brain-dead morons to dictate how companies can and can’t package their goods? There is something deeply amiss.

    If Sobranie withdrew their products because of the packaging laws, then I suspect they will have pulled out of the EU entirely, since all EU countries are now forced to disfigure their cigarette packaging with that deluded medico-porn so beloved of the smoker-haters.

  13. Yes, as far as I know they no longer sell them anywhere in the EU, they stopped around April. I have heard they are still available elsewhere. It is all so pointless and infringement of trademarks I don’t know how they got away with it. I use a black leather cigarette case so don’t even look at the package and I don’t buy them in the UK either so no tax from me. I heard that several premium brands pulled out too.

  14. Ah how i loved Sullivan Powell No 1 Turkish Ovals !
    I was in Switzerland 3 weeks ago and managed to pick up 200 George Karelias Superior Virginia in the fabulous Swiss packs with minimal warnings.

  15. I heard they were still available in Switzerland, don’t know anyone who is going there, maybe think about it in the spring, thanks.

  16. I saw them in all their glory 3 weeks ago in Zurich Airport and nearly bought 200 because i used to regularly buy and enjoy them in the UK.

  17. I enjoyed that walk down memory lane. When I smoked I loved Passing Clouds and the Black Russian.

  18. I bought 200 in March, got an email friom the company to say they would not be available after April, promptly went to buy another 200 but they had all gone. Ironically they were the only ones I paid UK tax on so another loss to the government. Anything else I buy quite legally abroad at half the price.

  19. Yes thats what i do Carol but i go and get them. I am planning another Zurich trip in March for some more Karelia Superior Virginia. If i see some Black Russian at Zurich airport coming back perhaps i could pick up 200 for you ? Tim.

  20. Thanks Tim,
    That would be great, if you let me know when you are going we can arrange payment for 200 Black Russian.

  21. I remember Passing Cloud well, we used to buy them as a treat when I was young. I wonder if they still make them!

  22. I agree, sometimes I am glad to be getting old! Wonder what my grandkids will inherit though.

  23. There were so many lovely packs back in the day – and a huge selection of blends of tobacco to choose from. Sobranie and Passing Clouds being just two. As Timothy points out above, the Sullivan Powell Turkish were also an excellent cigarette.

    That was, of course, back when we were allowed to make our own choices in these matters, rather than having the choices of those who hate us foisted upon us.

  24. Who knows, maybe the kids will rebel against all the PC nonsense as we did against the restrictions of our youth, that is if they are not too brainwashed by a rotten education system. The funniest one I heard recently was from a woman who wants Sleeping Beauty banned because the prince woke her with a kiss without her consent! I despair!