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Polish cigarettes to the USA as a gift sent from Poland?

Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
3 Feb 2010 #1
I was told you can get ciagrettes in Poland for 6.90 zł a packet (20 cigarettes). That's around $2.42 a apcket. Is it possible to send a carton (10 packets) of cigarettes as a gift to someone in the USA? Is there any customs duty on it?
jonni 16 | 2,485
3 Feb 2010 #2
Probably illegal, but as long as the package wasn't too obvious it might be OK. You'd probably have to pay duty if caught, but that would defeat the object. Maybe mark the package 'non-organic educational material'.

Cigarettes aren't 6.90 though. Marlborough are just over 10zl, other smokeable ones like Lucky Strike about 9zl, Red white'y light'y 7.95. Fajrant, a big selling non-kingsize brand popular among toothless old men (but a nice packet) are about 7.50 There isn't much cheaper than that and frankly you wouldn't want it. You can get dodgy Belarussian ones for 5.50 in Warsaw off ladies who sell them out of carrier bags, but you have to know where to go and what time they'll be there.
grubas 12 | 1,390
29 Mar 2010 #3
You can get smokes in Virginia for about $3/pack(Marlboro).and they much PL they have to use polish tobacco which is not that great.
jonni 16 | 2,485
29 Mar 2010 #4
There is a difference between Marlboro from Britain which traditionally use mostly American tobacco and Marlboro from Poland which use a different blend with more domestic tobacco.

It isn't so much that the tobacco grown in Poland has worse quality - after all, the tobacco farmers grow whatever type of crop the cigarette companies want them to. It's more to do with market research and level of excise duty.

Where the excise duty is high, the companies take advantage of that by cranking up their margin - the market is used to higher prices. The blend of tobacco is often better too. Where the excise duty is low, margins are generally lower too, and quality suffers.

Also, Cigarette companies do extensive market research. Cigarettes in a given country taste how they do because that is what the local consumers want.

There's an interesting fact about cigarette production. I didn't believe when the Marketing Dept of a well known and large tobacco company told me, so I tried it as an experiment. I asked people if they can tell the difference between brand X, a traditional Polish cigarette considered old-fashioned and brand Y, one of the world's best known brands. All were emphatic that they could. I gave them two cigarettes blindfold (one cut short - the Polish brand are extra short, the expensive one is king-size). None could tell the difference.

The reason is that both brands, the expensive international one and the old man's cheap one use exactly the same blend of tobacco, for reasons of economy of scale. They are identical, but brand perception is very very different and people swore blind that they tasted different.
RonWest 3 | 120
29 Mar 2010 #5
Of course you could always quit smoking. Your lungs will thank you for it and so will your neighbors.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
4 Apr 2010 #6
I have been told (and correct me if I'm wrong) that Polish soil and weather conditons are conducive to growing only the stronger, darker types of tobacco, not ther midler Virginia or other smooter-tasting 'blond' types. I used to smoke filterless Camels the US and Extra Mocne or Gauloises in Europe + a pipe (Union Leader in the US) and Najprzedniejszy flavoured with a pinch of Amphora red in Poland), but luckily kicked the habit in 1993.
jonni 16 | 2,485
4 Apr 2010 #7
Blond tobacco is more difficult generally to grow - dark tobacco is a much easier and higher yielding crop. Nevertheless there is more and more blond tobacco in Poland to reflect modern demand. The tobacco farms around Mazury (as far as I know) are now only growing blond tobacco, most of it genetically modified to suit the climate.

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