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As planned by the French government, the average price of a packet of cigarettes will be 60 cents more expensive starting March 1 2019. The decision was made in hopes of reducing the number of smokers in France. Not surprisingly, tobacco companies are unhappy about the decision.
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Paris Cigarette Price
The new price increase is linked to a new government surtax that is intended to ultimately raise the price of a packet of cigarettes to 10 Euros by 2020. Consequently, the price of a 20-pack of Marlboro Reds, the most popular cigarette in France, will increase from 8.20 Euros to 8.80 Euros.
According to the French health ministry, these successive tobacco price increases have had a positive effect on public health. In March 2018, the 70-cent price increase led to a 9.32% drop in sales. Since 2017 in France, 1 million people have already quit smoking in a country that counts 75,000 tobacco-related deaths every year.
Opponents of the new tobacco tax
In the opinion of many tobacco manufacturers, the price increases have had had a perverse effect on the industry, since packets sold on the black market are on the rise throughout France. According to a Bit Tobacco-sponsored study, 1 out of every 4 cigarettes consumed in France comes from illegal markets or border countries. Last year, French customs reported a 15% increase in the seizure of contraband cigarettes.
Tobacconists aren’t happy about the drop in sales, but they have also complained about administrative headaches due to both a drawn out process and having to change so many price tags.
Additionally, the president of Philip Morris France, Jeanne Polles, pointed out that the price increase is harmful to the French economy. Currently, taxes make up 82.3% of the price of tobacco, meaning that manufacturers only see 7.9% of sales, and tobacconists only 9.9%.
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About the Tobacco Plant
The tobacco plant, which is native to the Americas, is a relative of the potato, eggplant, and tomato plants.
What makes tobacco special compared to its plant relatives is that it contains nicotine. Nicotine is a psychoactive stimulant that gives you a feeling of relaxation while reducing your feelings of stress.
The plant grows to about 2 feet with oval-shaped leaves that grow between 10 and 20 inches. Yellow, white, or pink 5 petal flowers bloom and produce tiny fruits (only 2 mm) that contain 2 seeds each.
The leaf is the part of the plant that contains the nicotine, although the roots produce it. Each type of plant has different levels of nicotine, some as high as 18%.
Curing Tobacco Plants
There’s more than one type of tobacco plant, each with different uses. Some are better options than others.
You also have the curing process to consider. Curing is the process of drying the tobacco and gives the tobacco plant its character and quality.
Flue-curing is the most popular with Virginia tobacco. It works by hanging the tobacco leaves in curing barns and using hot air to dry the leaves. As the leaves dry, they gain a unique aroma, flavor, and color.
Air-curing is a popular method used for Burley tobacco. The tobacco leaves hang in a ventilated curing barn and take 4-8 weeks to dry. Like Virginia tobacco, the leaves end with a distinct aroma and flavor.
Sun-curing is another curing method common with Oriental tobacco. The leaves hang in a sunny area and dry for 2 weeks.
For cigars, the tobacco leaves go through fermentation after the curing process. In this step, the tobacco leaves become riper while the nicotine content lessens. The flavor, aroma, and color continue to develop as the tobacco ferments.
Depending on the type of tobacco and cigar, the fermentation process can take up to 6 months. Many dark air-cured tobaccos go through fermentation to gain their dark color and rich aroma.
Fire-curing is best for chewing, pipe, and some cigarette tobaccos. This process uses small fires and smoke to cure the leaves. It causes the aroma and flavor to become rich and robust.
It doesn’t hurt to sample different types of tobacco leaves to find which ones you like best. From there, you can blend different types to create your perfect blend.
If you’re a first-time tobacco plant shopper or are curious to learn more, here’s a breakdown of the different types of tobacco plants available.
Types of Tobacco Plants
Here are some of the most common tobacco plants you can find.
Virginia Flue-Cured Tobacco
Virginia flue-cured tobacco leaves are the most popular for cigarettes and pipes. It’s known as the “smoker’s tobacco” due to its mild burn and lightly sweet flavor and aroma.
The Virginia name is misleading, as it doesn’t describe the tobacco’s origin. Virginia describes the type of seed, method of harvesting, and the flue-curing process. Virginia tobacco has a light yellow color and a higher amount of sugar and nitrogen compared to other cured tobaccos.
The flavor is mild and subtle with a gentle throat hit. It’s often described as “easy-smoking” tobacco, making it popular for cigarettes.
This is another lighter tobacco that is air-cured. This tobacco has little sugar in it after the curing process. The final flavor is chocolatey, nutty, and bitter.
To overcome its bitter flavor, people either sweeten it or use the burley leaf as a base for flavored tobacco. Many tobacconists use burley as their canvas to experiment with different flavors and levels of sweetness.
Burley tobacco is popular for use in pipes and cigarettes. It makes a great base for those looking to add balance or flavor to their tobacco blends.
Cavendish describes the special curing process of the tobacco plant. You can use any type of tobacco to create Cavendish.
What is Cavendish?
It’s essentially processed tobacco with added flavor, sweetness, or both. You can steam or stove cavendish to reduce the harshness of the tobacco when smoked. Finally, you can press, mill, or cut it into ribbons.
You can find Cavendish in many flavors and cuts, including whole leaf. Cavendish helps stabilize and moderate the flavors and burn traits in their products.
This unique style of tobacco is only grown in St. James Parish, Louisiana. It begins its life as air-cured tobacco before undergoing an additional 12-18 months of processing.
The processing includes fermentation where the tobacco ages in barrels. During that time, it gets aired out and repacked three times. In the end, the tobacco has a richer and fuller flavor.
Perique is best as a condiment leaf mixed with other tobaccos. The curing and processing leave the tobacco with such a strong flavor that you shouldn’t smoke it on its own. You can find it in whole leaf, ribbons, and milled.
When used in small amounts in blends, it will add a nice peppery and figgy flavor with a plum and pine finish. You’ll find Perique blended with Virginia tobaccos for pipes, cigarettes, and cigars.
This Oriental type of tobacco gets its name from a city in Syria. It grows in Cyprus and the northern region of Syria.
Latakia cures by drying above burning aromatic herbs and wood. The wood and herbs give it a flavorful aroma that is spicy, herbal, and leathery.
Use Latakia in your tobacco or cigarette blends to add a little zip to your tobacco. Latakia is popular in most English tobacco blends.
This type of tobacco is also known as “wild tobacco.” It’s a stronger tobacco with around a nicotine level around 9%, a greater amount compared to other tobaccos with only 3%.
Rustica grows in some areas of North America and Central South America. Rustica has spread throughout India, Afghanistan, Burma, Russia, and Africa.
It has a full flavor and is popular for hookah, pipes, and chewing.
Kentucky tobacco is a fire-cured type of Burley tobacco. This tobacco leaf isn’t overly strong, making it mild and approachable.
It has a mild flavor with smoky-sweet notes and is a great option for pipes and cigarettes.
Organic Tobacco Plants
Organic tobacco plants are becoming more popular. Many people looking for whole leaf tobacco are choosing organic options.
Organic tobacco doesn’t have any pesticides or extra processing. Non-organic tobacco relies heavily on pesticides. Some people feel this type of tobacco is a little safer compared to tobacco plants that go through heavy processing and that it offers a purer tobacco flavor.
Most tobacco plants and types have an organic option.
Storing Your Whole Leaf Tobacco
Once you select the tobacco leaves you want to try, you need a safe place to store them until you decide to smoke or chew them.
When you buy your tobacco leaf, it usually comes in a sealed clear plastic bag. Keeping it in the bag is fine for a day or two, but without proper storage, your tobacco plant will start to mold. Leaving it out of the bag will turn the tobacco into a dry crisp.
To avoid mold or drying, you can leave your tobacco leaves in the plastic bag, but leave it slightly open.
The Popularity of Whole Leaf Tobacco Plants
Whole leaf tobacco plants are becoming a popular tobacco option. You can use whole leaf tobacco whether you smoke cigarettes, cigars, hookah, or pipes.
Many people prefer whole leaf tobacco because it’s less processed. The curing and fermenting processes can still add flavors without any extra chemicals.
Another benefit of whole leaf tobacco is that you can grind it when and how you want. Grinding the tobacco right before you use it gives it a fresher and fuller flavor. You can also use the same leaf for different blends and smoking styles.
Try Whole Leaf Tobacco Today
Try a whole leaf tobacco plant today. We have many types and styles of tobacco for you to mix and match to create the perfect blend.
Best Tobacco Pipes To Buy OnlineSEE TOP 10
Choosing The Right Tobacco Pipe For You
Some budding pipe smokers might find that choosing their first pipe to be a stressful experience. Indeed, your pipe is a loyal companion and one’s first pipe is much like their first love. Therefore, you want to make sure that you get it right!
However, without taking the above metaphor too far, it’s worth taking your time and playing hard to get. As we outline in our resources, you don’t choose your pipe but it chooses you.
What is meant by this is that you’ll know the right pipe when you see it. From the aesthetics all the way to its weight and design, your pipe will resonate with you when you hold it in your hands.
At the risk of entirely butchering the aforementioned metaphor, the advent of online dating has made the experience much easier. As such, we have compiled a selection of what we believe to be the best tobacco pipes that you can buy online.
If you already own a pipe, you might be seeking to start a collection. After all, it’s recommended that you own at least two if you smoke on a daily basis. You can learn about all the different types of tobacco pipes with our full guide to pipe shapes and materials.
Finally, once you are a proud owner of a new pipe, keep it in perfect condition with our detailed pipe cleaning guide!
Choosing A Pipe Tobacco
Once you’ve chosen your pipe, you’ll have to then decide what you’ll be putting in it! Another difficult process, it can be overwhelming given the sheer variety of different pipe tobacco on the market.
Fortunately, pipe tobacco is relatively cheap and it’s possible to pick up a few and give them a try. Using our guide to pipe tobacco, you can easily narrow down a selection of blends that interest you.
From the ways pipe tobacco is cut to the different varieties used for making a blend, this guide is one of the most detailed that you’ll find! As such, you’ll whet your appetite by discovering many different types of tobacco and learning how they affect flavour.
Preparing Your New Pipe For Smoking
Before you start puffing away on your new pipe, you’ll need to take a few steps to prepare it.
Firstly and most importantly, you’ll need to break in your pipe. A relatively simple process, we cover this several times quite early on in our guides as it’s also very important. In short, breaking in a new pipe insulates the interior and prevents it from heat damage.
Additionally, we highly recommend that you read our guide on how to properly load a pipe with tobacco. Known as “packing”, this process is worth learning as doing it incorrectly may cause your pipe to excessively go out.
Finally, we have also provided a full guide on how to properly light a tobacco pipe as it’s not as straightforward as you might think. Also featuring the best pipe lighters that you can buy online, this guide will help you to both get the smoke going and keep it lit too.
Learn How To Enjoy Tobacco Pipe Smoking
We may easily assume that smoking a pipe is a very simple process. Indeed, the basics aren’t overly complicated. However, it’s not without its pitfalls that can impede your overall pleasure.