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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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December 04 2009

Marlboro to Introduce “Smoke Rite” 6 Cig Health Packs

By Mark Sisson
130 Comments

Smokers rejoice. There is a new, healthier way to smoke, all thanks to the innovators at Altria (formerly known as Philip Morris). Marlboro has just released Smoke Rites, a new line of health conscious products for modern people with active lifestyles.

The concept was borne over two years of intense research at Marlboro laboratories. Head researcher Dr. Dylan Pantzenfahr explains, “Curing lung cancer is one of Marlboro’s top priorities. And while we can’t change the nature of [tobacco], we can change the way people smoke it.” Pantzenfahr is referring to serving size. To date there is no standard serving size for cigarette consumption. “It’s a tricky question,” says Pantzenfahr, “A man with massive lungs may consume a much larger serving of cigarettes than, say, a tiny person.” Nevertheless, in early 2007 Pantzenfahr and his team of specialists made it their one mission to answer the serving size question.

Early tests failed. The group ran into several technical and legal obstacles. Julie Lawson, the team’s resident psychiatrist, palms her face when discussing the initial trials. “It was the wild west. No one had a clue what a serving of cigarettes looked like. We had monkeys smoking cigarettes, men smoking catfood, women using corn cob pipes. Eight cigs, twelve cigs, we had to cut the 200-cigs-per-day experiment short because too many subjects were losing feeling in their limbs.” Julie shakes her head, “We didn’t learn what a serving was, but we learned if you smoke more than 200 cigarettes per day your urine turns black.”

But the smoke team didn’t quit. 420 million dollars and 18 months later Pantzenfahr made a discovery. “The serving size was still eluding us, but we found something amazing in the data.” One of the experiments compared people who smoked as much as they wanted each day with people who only smoked six cigarettes a day. Over 30 people were tested, and the results showed a 14% lower chance of lung cancer in the people who smoked just 6 cigarettes. The message was clear, smoking 6 cigarettes reduces your risk of cancer. Pantzenfahr’s eyes light up when he remembers the day he made the connection, “I double checked the findings, I turned to my research assistant and told her we’d just stumbled upon a way to cure cancer through smoking.”

Marlboro’s CEO, Jeff Skinling, was skeptical. “I didn’t want to throw another half billion dollars into a scientific hunch. I had them run a double blind study. Then a triple blind, then a quadruple blind study before deciding we were blind enough to move forward.”

When Skinling moves forward, he moves fast. Within months Marlboro created the Smoke Rite brand, produced a commercial, designed the packaging, and even built a bio-green-environment-safe production facility. “Now people know they are being healthy and environmentally chic when they smoke,” says Marlboro customer sensitivity chief Nancy McKerberster.

The Smoke Rites are scheduled to hit gas stations and grocery stores within the month. Smokers will now have the option to buy a traditional 20-cigarette pack, or a Smart Carton of Smoke Rites. Each Smart Carton contains 12 small 6-cigarette Smoke Rite packs. Additionally, some regions will have the option to buy Smart Carton Plusses which will include a bonus seventh cigarette in each 6-cigarette pack.

“This is just the beginning,” says Josh Glott, co-vice executive head of development and strategic marketing productivity at Marlboro, “Beyond the commercials and the promo spots on morning shows, our next batch of Smoke Rites will promote even further awareness of smoking health as we plan on including heart, check mark, and jogger silhouette icons on each pack. We’re even planning future Smoke Rites to be sold in a pack shaped like a healthy lung.” Glott holds up a magazine ad and smiles. The ad shows a mom in a sports bra holding a heart-shaped bowl filled with cigarettes.

But not everyone approves of the healthy cigarettes. Grace Null heads a privately funded interest group dedicated to speaking out against the re-packaging. “You think people are really going to smoke just 6 cigarettes a day? No sir, people will end up smoking that entire Smart Carton.” Null cites a study to back up her claim. But Pantzenfahr is quick to reply, “Her claim is true, but only for people who don’t have control over their smoking habits. For people who are in control, the Smoke Rites are the healthiest choice.”

The company’s strategy of product miniaturization is spreading to other health conscious corporations such as Jagermeister. “Alcohol is a powerful disinfectant,” says Jagermeister corporate researchologist Joe Bellows, “Studies show males between the ages of 28 and 55 need extra disinfecting at the end of a work day. Jagermeister Disinfectaboosters are a healthy way to disinfect your liver. And because of their small size, they’re fine to drink before driving home.” Bellows is boastful of his company’s new stance, though he admits Jagermeister is not the first to do so, citing Michelob Ultra’s movement to inform the public of the important role beer plays in exercise and fitness.

Uzi has also joined the bandwagon, taking the first groundbreaking steps toward pistols and sub-machine guns that load “Smartables” two bullet magazines instead of the more dangerous fourteen bullet magazines. A safer gun for safer crimes.

Jeff Skinling doesn’t seem concerned with all the corporate piggybacking. “The smaller pack thing is just the tip of the iceberg in our new campaign for health. Just wait till you wrap your lips around our Vitacigs.” Skinling is referring to an upcoming project that will inject vitamins and minerals into packs of Marlboro Smoke Rites. Each Smoke Rite pack would contain up to 15% of the recommended daily allowance of niacin. “Smoke 7 packs a day, and you’re over 100%!” claims Skinling. Niacin is also known as vitamin B3. Outside of Smoke Rite Vitapacks, niacin can only be found in meat, vegetables, nuts, fruits, dairy products, and grains.

While it may be years before the negative and slanderous term “cancer sticks” fades from American lexicon, Pantzenfahr is hopeful that his research along with the new repackaging and re-labeling will finally sway the public to see Marlboro cigarettes for what they really are: immunity sticks. And as for current public opinion? “I don’t need to be able to pronounce the name of every single ingredient on every label of every product I buy,” says one American consumer, “I just need to know if I am being healthy when I put it in my mouth or when I give it to my children.”

What do you think of Marlboro’s latest escapade? Share your thoughts on corporate spin, food product marketing and “Smoke Rites” in the comment board!

TAGS:  humor, Hype, marketing

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130 thoughts on “Marlboro to Introduce “Smoke Rite” 6 Cig Health Packs”

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  1. O_o My sarcasm meter is broken today. Part of me thinks this has to be a satire piece, another (very, very cynical part) is merely shaking its head.

      1. Would really like to meet Dr. Pantzenfahr. Wonder if his pants are pulled up all the way to his nipple line.

  2. F#%K ME, THE WORLD IS LOST, i am moving to the forest, killing a deer, wearing it’s skin and throwing my TV in the trash, i just can’t take it anymore!

    1. Don’t bother — there are already people living where the deer are… we aren’t part of their communities and they’re not going to let us be. (Try driving through Wyoming sometime with California plates; you’ll see what I mean)

      But yeah, DO throw your TV into the trash. That can only help!

      1. It’s not that you can’t drive through Wyoming with California plates, son. It’s that y’all drive like you are at NASCAR main event and you are the star. So drive through nice and easy, obey the laws and, above all, keep going until you hit Reno, because the very last thing we need in Wyoming is more Californians.

    2. Ditto on Ditching the TV, I did that 2 years ago and so far the only side effect is an extra $50-$90 in my back account. (Thank you HULU and iTunes)

  3. It’s not real. No cigarette company spokesperson would ever say: “We didn’t learn what a serving was, but we learned if you smoke more than 200 cigarettes per day your urine turns black.”

    Which is not to say it wasn’t a good piece of satire. Makes me think of those 100 calorie packs.

  4. “But the smoke team didn’t quit. 420 million dollars and 18 months later Pantzenfahr made a discovery.”

    Seriously? This is such a joke. From a marketing stance, it is smart of them to do this to atleast grab those smokers “on the fence” of quitting.

    I think its important to expand on the point that other corporations are using this idea to label their foods as healthy, and every day I see people grabbing them off of the shelves with a grin on their face thinking they’re being health conscious. It doesn’t help that the Heart and Stroke foundation approves these labels, but thats another story. Consumers need to be more aware of the purchases that they are making.

    Aside from being flooded with cash, I don’t understand how the executives and marketers at Marlboro are able to sleep at night.

  5. I couldn’t tell if this was a true article or not…but I always thought for those people that do smoke and are trying to quit, this actually may help them. A lot of smokers out there aren’t pack a day or two pack a day smokers. Some people only smoke a few cigs per day. For those that are trying to quit and have lapse…buying a pack that only contains 6 cigs will get them back on track quicker than a standard 20 cig pack. It is especially hard when the weekend comes around and you’re probably going to smoke, its better to buy just 6 and be done with it than buy 20 and have them leak into the next week. Just my 6 cents.

    1. I agree with you to a certain point, but I have no sympathy for people that keep falling off of the wagon. If you want to quit bad enough, you’ll do it.

    2. If you were a smoker, you’d know that “cutting down” is a joke :-/. If you smoke no more than 3 cigs a day and only a few days a week, you can probably avoid addiction indefinitely. But not otherwise.
      People buying packs of 6 will just buy more packs, is all….
      It’s like telling people who smoke crack that if they just keep it to a rock or two a day they’ll be fine — and most people buying crack already buy it in little packs — but they’ll be back to buy more packs that same night.

      1. I disagree, I think “cutting down” is a very viable option. I have tried to quit several times in the past (cold turkey) to no avail. Recently I have been cutting down – I started out going 2 hours in mid-morning without a smoke and every few days I take it up a notch (I am currently going 8 hours per day
        without smoking – I have 4 in the morning before 8 AM then I don’t smoke until about 4 or 5PM).
        I think the main problem with “cold turkey” is the fear of *never* having a smoke again. This way, I slowly build up my resistance, and sooner or later, when I get to 24+ hours, I may get to the point where I simply don’t want the
        “next” smoke (but I always know I *can* have it).
        True, quitting completely is the healthier option, but I have already
        noticed improvements in alertness and
        energy.

        1. “I think cutting down is a very viable option.” And yet you’re STILL smoking! Dude! It’s got you! The nicotine has got you. It’s got your brain and your way of thinking man. Can’t you see the insanity of your rationalizing? Take it from an EX smoker, the only answer is to quit. There’s no such thing as only smoking a little. What’s so wrong with NEVER having another cigarette? They do NOTHING for you. About 3 months without a smoke, you’ll realize that. You only want one NOW because you’re addicted to the nicotine. Once you break that addiction (through total abstinance NOT ‘cutting back’) you won’t want one anymore.

        2. I am there with you….it’s not always a fear of your last cigg . That I have to disagree on. Sometimes it’s the fear of failing at quitting not to mention, when you quit you feel horrible!!!!! You’re withdrawing from a drug…..a very addictive drug at that.
          Funny that previous smokers ( not all )are so self righteous after quitting and even further ridiculous is the judgement of a non- smoker. Personally, I think your weaning is a phenomenonal idea…..you’re truly breaking habits; all of them. You’re ensuring your success!

  6. This made my day 🙂
    -“We didn’t learn what a serving was, but we learned if you smoke more than 200 cigarettes per day your urine turns black.”

  7. :: Blank stare ::

    I kept waiting for the punchline… and it never came. It looks like something from Weekly World News or other similar tabloid.

    A “healthy serving” of cigarettes is akin to a healthy serving of hemlock.

    Are these people serious…? If so, please just liquify my brain now and get it over with.

    1. Nicotine does have some health benefits, actually. It’s the smoking of chemically polluted tobacco that’s the big health problem, not the nicotine, which boosts levels of acetylcholine and dopamine, both of which have positive effects: people who smoke are less likely to get certain diseases, and nicotine has some unique properties that make it useful in other ways. But we really need to stop consuming it in smoked tobacco.

      Just sayin….

  8. Are you people honestly that dense? If so, I have a bridge I can offer you for a great price…

    1. The exact same logic applies to 100 calorie packs of trans-fat laden Oreo cookies and “heart healthy” packets of Cheerios.

      This is satire, and it’s brilliant satire because it’s so freaking possible.

  9. I’m guessing Mark is pulling a fast one on us today. Please say it’s so and I can laugh and sleep better tonite.

    IF this is true, what a load! Smoking only 6 CURES cancer? What about the second hand folks around other smokers?

    I will check back – this can’t be true.

    1. Read the doublespeak again. It never says cures cancer, just you are less likely to develop it.

      Great satire all around.

      1. Read again. Fourth paragraph quote:
        “I double checked the findings, I turned to my research assistant and told her we’d just stumbled upon a way to cure cancer through smoking.”

    2. That meant that compared to people smoking 20 cigs a day, those who smoke 6 have less cancer. So yes, with a bit of nefarious lying (like the sort used to sell statin drugs) you can say that smoking 6 is “beneficial” in terms of cancer.

  10. I’m bringing some traffic to this site for you, Mark. I wager you get a few hundred comments on this post. Nice job!

  11. So eating grains and sugar is like smoking cigarettes? I guess I never thought of grains as quite *that* bad.

  12. Of course it’s a joke. Mark just didn’t spell it out for us with a “gotcha!” line at the end. The proof is in the URL links, folks.

    I mean, the guy’s name is “Pantzenfahr,” for heaven’s sake (say it aloud…)

    1. Pantzenfahr – I don’t get it and I said it out loud several times…perhaps I need to say it with an American accent…nope…still doesn’t mean anything to me.

      Let me in on the name joke? 🙂

        1. And apologies, I missed the “I need to say it with an American accent” part.

          “Liar, liar, pants on fire!” is a childhood taunt, often heard around the playground in American elementary schools, when accusing someone of saying a falsehood.

  13. Google and Collecta have no mention of this…as ridiculous as it is this has to be a joke.

    Then again, this almost perfectly mirrors the mainstream approach to foodstuffs. 100 calorie packs have already been mentioned, and I can’t help but think of the “healthy ice cream” story Marc posted a few days ago….

    Perhaps this is less of a joke and more of a stab at the conventional approach to health and fitness.

    Point well taken.

  14. Guys, check out the links in the article. This is a take on marketing and advertising in the food industry. He’s demonstrating how ridiculous the “health” food industry is by showing what the same marketing tactics and “scientific” backings would look like if used on cigarettes.

    From the beginning you should be raising your eyebrows. It’s logical that a reduction in lung cancer would follow a reduction in smoking, but this certainly doesn’t mean that smoking *any* amount reduces cancer. Yet, the food industry uses this kind of logic to market all sorts of crap to consumers.

    Quite a clever piece of satire.

  15. Looks like a joke, and it seems like a joke, but up to the early 2000’s you could buy a pack of 10 cigarettes in all major brands in France.

    The options were 10, 20, and 25 cigarettes per pack.

    At some point the government banned the 10 pack because they considered it an aid to teenage smoking.
    They weren’t half wrong since when I was a kid a majority of the people I knew who smoked bought 10 packs (easier to hide).

    So even if it is a joke, I wouldn’t b surprised if Philip Morris had considered it…

  16. I still think the world is lost, and i’m still going to kill me a deer and live in the woods, and yes i am still throwing out my TV

    1. I’m with you.

      But I’d prefer a sailboat, and follow the trade winds as the seasons change.

  17. Is this a joke? I hope so. If you only smoke 6 cigs per day, you reduce your risk of cancer…wow…rocket science!

  18. this is clearly a joke
    and a clever one

    it is definitely a good analogy to those 100 calorie cookie packs

  19. Darn, just when I was thinking of ways to integrate cigarette smoking into my busy schedule, I realize it’s satire. I hate it when that happens!

    Seriously though, I was thinking in the back of my mind while reading this about the studies that show that a little bit of radiation can protect you from certain cancers. Why not just a little smoking? 🙂

    1. (Boy, who funded *those* studies?)

      The best thing you can do when reading about studies showing this or that is Follow the Money. Ever since the FDA let Big Pharma jump the line by funding drug studies normally funded by NIH, we’ve had slews of studies showing that white is black, up is down, etc. etc.

  20. When I got to “Additionally, some regions will have the option to buy Smart Carton Plusses which will include a bonus seventh cigarette in each 6-cigarette pack” I almost pissed myself. Thanks for this, I don’t feel the need to read theonion today. 🙂

  21. I love it, thanks for the laugh Mark. You just made my day.

    Of course, where anyone can see just how ridiculous the idea of a “healthy serving” of cigarettes is, they can’t see that the same thing applies to crap food. It doesn’t matter how much you relabel it, change the serving size, inject vitamins, crap is still crap and you shouldn’t be eating it.

  22. A cigarette researcher named “Pants-on-Fire.”

    Where’s his twin, Lyre Lyre Pants-on-Fire?

    Good spoof, Mark.

  23. We been duped! Google search for Dylan Pantzenfahr only goes to this post! 🙂 Very funny nonetheless.

  24. What’s interesting to me is that we’ve become so accustomed to corporate marketing BS and crappy statistical shenanigans like Mark made up here that many of us (as evidenced by the board comments) actually think this might be authentic.

      1. I nearly fell for it, but then I noticed my pants were smoking… Nice.

  25. What!!! How can they get away with this?? This is ridiculas. It’s just giving to message to people that it’s ok to smoke.

    “We’re even planning future Smoke Rites to be sold in a pack shaped like a healthy lung.” Glott holds up a magazine ad and smiles. The ad shows a mom in a sports bra holding a heart-shaped bowl filled with cigarettes.

  26. I nearly screamed out in horror in the middle of our student union til I realized it was a joke.
    oi vay.

  27. Well not the Onion but a pretty good riff on the 100 calorie “snack pack” mentality (and I liked the dig at Michelob Ultra).

  28. Hahaha, good one Mark. I was shaking my head in disbelief until I read the above my comments. A google search for “Dr. Dylan Pantzenfahr” returns just one site 🙂

  29. you got me at first! this sounds just like something the cig companies would do!

  30. Mark, this was a funny one. For a minute you had me going. 1/2 billion dollars! Ha! Urine turning black?! 14%?

  31. People really. He named the main character Pantzenfahr…PantsOnFire…come on, turn on that light bulb over your collective heads…

    😉

    Good one Mark!

  32. Ugh. How many credulous responses? People, please – you owe it to Mark to be at least minimally skeptical and keep him honest.

    Mark: this was brilliant, but I suspect you may need to spell out the comparison here for some people. I thought the line where reducing portion size was mistakenly interpreted as having beneficial effects (rather than merely less harmful effects) was perfect.

  33. That article is GREAT! I was wondering if the food industries in America have gone totally nuts ^^ It had to be a joke – and I was soo happy to read that Mark just made it up 😛 (I can’t speak the word Pantzenfahr as you do “PantsOnFire” – I just thought: What a totally stupid name!)

  34. Didn’t the airlines used to have small sample-size packs of cigarettes available back in the 1960’s in case passengers forgot their smokes?

  35. Applying for a job at “The Onion”, are we Mark?

    Quite amusing!!

  36. This is how a free market capitalist society works! I’m not knocking on it, I’m just saying we gotta recognize the bull shit when it’s served to us because we live in a place where anyone can try to sell you something and everyone’s trying to make a buck! Marlboro, and the makers of the 100-calorie packs are not the ones to blame (they’re trying to make $$$ just like you and I). Our government is to blame for not doing much in identifying instances like this as fraud!

    PS – I’m not commie; I just don’t like being conned.

    1. Ironically, one of the side-effects of existing government warnings is an increase in public credulity. Complete elimination of all government-required warnings would probably work better, by making the population more skeptical.

  37. Suk’n mark!!!! My Friday was already looking bleak and then you, admittedly, got me with this post.

    Had me thinking how unbelievably ridiculous big corps and mainstream people are.

    …At least it turned out to be a joke, and I can smile now.

    1. It’s no joke, this exact behavior is so widespread these days WRT to “food products”… if you want healthy food, cook it yourself from plants and lean protein.

      Grains *are* problematic… especially wheat.

  38. Thanks for my daily laugh..you really made my day with your sense of humour! 🙂

  39. My cynicism kicked in at the second paragraph. This is a joke, right?

  40. Ok, I’ve got it. It’s an analogy to grains. It’s meant to show us how preposterous the whole Grains story is.

    -Cigarettes cause lung cancer
    -Grains cause Metabolic Syndrome,

    -“Curing lung cancer is one of Marlboro’s top priorities”. 6 cigarettes a day.
    -Curing diabetes is one of the AHA’s top priorities. 11 servings a day

    -14% reduced risk of lung cancer from smoking “healthy cigs” as opposed to regular cigs
    -Reduced risk of heart disease from consuming “healthy whole grains” as opposed to refined grains,

    -injected vitamins
    -fortified with vitamins,

    The parallel’s are unmistakable.
    Sorry to be captain obvious, someone has to be it. Great analogy!!!

  41. This post made my day.
    Plus it’s a good kick in the Pantzenfahr for some of us…
    All I could think about with the black urine was “poor kidneys!”

    1. I loved how the study compared people who smoked 6 cigarettes per day with those who smoke “as much as they want”. I wonder how many non-smokers were in that group!

      Excellent work of satire. Such a great comment on how research can become biased in search of a particular result!

  42. Grace “Null”‘s link to your single serving pack article is pretty awesome 😛

  43. But I’m still trying to sell LARD to the wife. This post makes more sense to her than saturated fats are healthy.

  44. Jesus Effing Christ, people. You were really debating whether this was actually true? There weren’t enough clues in there to demonstrate to you this was a joke?

    Mark, is the unintended result of this that you are disappointed to see how many of your followers are goddamned idiots?

  45. Nice piece of satire, well-written and funny. Thanks — it is SO nice to see good satire again!

  46. Hey Honey, are you off to the store to pickup the wings and cheese for the big game party? OK then, don’t forget to get me a couple of 6-packs. Bud Lite and Marlboros. Thanks babe……

  47. though not a smoker myself,I have seen many indigenous people of the world smoking on nat-geo. maybe smoking is instinctive to humans.

    1. Superb article, had to check it wasn’t the American equiv of April fools day in England. The bit that really got me was “the 2 bullet Uzi!” and guys were taking this for real???????

    2. Evidence shows that substance use in general is natural to mammals. There are psychoactive jungle plants that the indigenous population uses, and they can tell the plant from another very similar-looking one by looking for signs of big cats and other animals taking some for themselves!

      The problems crop up when the plant drug is extracted for one of it’s active constituents… cocaine is the perfect example. Chewing coca leaf is actually both nutritious and beneficial, because it compensates for some of the negative effects of life at high altitudes. Taking cocaine HCl, however is not beneficial in any way.

  48. So scary! I was just reading this thinking “Next they’ll be infusing cigarettes with antioxidants”. WOW! Actually, I’m surprised it took them so long to come up with such a repulsive idea.

    1. If they were smart they’d infuse cigarettes with cannabis, which has antineoplastic (anti-cancer) effects. I don’t have the link at hand, but recent research is showing pot to reduce the incidence of many kinds of cancer.

      The planet gave us good medicines, and yet we don’t use them, because drugs are so much more profitable. This is no doubt why the AMA has rolled over on pot — Big Pharma has several cannabis drugs in the pipeline.

  49. Brilliant, brilliant satire of the 100-calorie pack bulls**t. Cigarettes are addictive. Carbs are addictive. Everyone knows that those 100-calorie packs INCREASE consumption. Like many other posters, had me sucked in for a while. But then, so did Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” (google it if you haven’t read it).

  50. Brilliant satire, sir!

    Two tiny details: as a gun enthusiast, I will note that magazines contain entire “rounds” and not just bullets. Also, “10 round magazines” seem to be the threshold at which we can stop thinking about the children. Nobody seems to care if it holds 10 rounds or less, but once a magazine can hold 11 or more rounds, apparently nearby babies start falling out of bassinets, dogs and cats start living together… complete chaos.

  51. I am my own caffeine maximum dose experiment…Ew, me kidneys ur ‘urting, gotta run!

  52. Liar, liar… Patzenfahr… Trying to determine if this is an original “article” or if it was borrowed from another source. Anyone know?

  53. Are you sure this isn’t a joke? This actually made me laugh out loud, and I can’t find any other information about this on the net, anywhere.

  54. I got one word for smokers:
    VAPORIZER

    there will always be people smoking plants, so why not cut all the cancer promoting crap(smoke and it’s ingredients) and just vaporize the stuff???
    Ideally they should all stop of course and i wouldn’t even vaporize, but if we are realistic this is the only way to better the situation!

    Regards,
    Rob

  55. I like the rite in “Smoke Rite”, like in “Last Rites”.

    I was at 2 packa a day until one day I just quite without thinking about it! Never missed it and now I’m allergic to cigarette smoke (can’t be around it). Thankfully Ohio is non-smoking in ALL public places including bars and restaurants.

  56. The time has come to ban smoking in all public places and confinr it to private places between consenting adults.

    I recently watched a patient in hospital – who was prepared for surgery on a foot injury – hobble out of the hospital for a smoke first.

    Sad; but I have no doubt that he would have believed every word of Mark’s article.

  57. I almost believed it. Not that cigarettes are healthy, but that Marlboro would in fact try to introduce something like this. Because it’s no more ridiculous than those 100-calorie “healthy” snack-packs-of-crap. Less poison is not healthy.

  58. Brilliant! Had me going there at first. I bet Philip Morris wishes they’d thought of your marketing ploy. I, too, wish I had your writing ability and wit. Keep it coming!

  59. I would have beleived the 6 cig pack, it will be the only way all the unemployed smokers in america can afford cigarettes. Great marketing strategy. Over 10% of people have no job and here in Jersey they raised the pack of cigarettes to $7.65. They would also be great for those who only smoke when they drink. Times like this I am glad I quit smoking 11 years ago.

  60. I think this is a great idea on behalf of the cigarette companies to cut down on cancer. Maybe the next idea could be to offer a “fun size” cigarette pack, you know, like the candida bar companies (whoops, I meant candy bar companies) provide.

    This kind of logic can be applied to almost any of today’s chronic problems. Take teenage pregnancies for instance, if we teach our kids to only have unprotected sex six times rather than 12 times, we can cut the pregnancies down by 50%!

    This kind of logic is just what this country needs. Thank God for cigarette companies to bring this to light, in the best interest of our health of course.

  61. Mark, what I am really starting to worry about is the number of your followers that are asking if this is a joke or real!?!?!?!

    Should have saved it for April 1st – brilliant work!

  62. It this for real? You can never tell sometimes. Even it it’s real, a 6 cig pack still would not be healthy.

  63. Wow, this is satire, right? 🙂 Very funny the thing with the black urine, huh…

  64. This is the idea I’ve had like forever.
    It’s easy to smoke another cigarette when you got a pack of 20. This would keep smoking habits low.

    1. It’s a Smoke Rite Plus pack. On the box it even says, 6+1 bonus cigarette.

  65. Is this a joke? Smoking can’t cure cancer and it can’t ever be good for you. This is ridiculous.

    1. OMG are you serious? When did people lose their sense of the ridiculous and become so gullible (or is it self-absorbed and self-important?)? Of course it is a joke!

      It is SATIRE, foolish mortals. Look it up and then read it again. Or, you know, quit breathing.

  66. every 2nd comment is claiming that this is a satirical piece, if so why is that when i cut down to 6 duzzas per day my lung capacity increased 50% and i quit smoking ice? 6 cheers for mr morris +1 free cheer for my brain hooray

  67. Let me get this straight…. it took them millions of dollars to find out that smoking a small amount cigarettes is healthier than smoking a lot of cigarettes….. someone deserves the Nobel peace prise!

  68. I suggested this idea years ago. I worked with smokers for many years, and my father smoked and died from complications from cigarette smoking. I also wondered why smokers had to smoke a pack or two packs per day. I thought, why not just 5 cigarettes or 3 cigarettes per day? In fact, a few convenient stores in our are were opening packs and selling cigarettes individually until it was ruled illegal to do so. I thought that was a great idea. For someone that is trying to quit, just buying one at a time might do the trick. Otherwise, they have that entire pack calling to them to smoke the whole thing.

    1. “why not just 5 cigarettes or 3 cigarettes per day?”

      Because the nicotine hit wears off in about 15-20 minutes, prompting the cigarette addict to reach for the next. Making it less convenient might cut it down some, but the vast majority of cigarette addicts go through at least one pack a day for that reason.

      It’s a bit like the blood sugar roller-coaster that prompts the person trying to follow a high-carb (low fat) diet to reach for something to eat every hour or so. I can empathize with the cigarette addict, because I was a carb addict, and I know how it feels.

      It’s like a dripping faucet. You can successfully ignore it. For a while. Then it really starts to get on your nerves. Eventually, you cave in.

  69. This is fantastic. Awesome piece once the play is revealed. Went from curiously confused with an heir of shock, to enlightened with laughter, kicking myself for not seeing it right away. Might I note’ the cleverness, with the links embedded! Totally topped it off for me.
    Awesome. Forwarding this on.

  70. I think 6-pack cigarettes are a great idea. For someone like myself who just smokes when I drink. I have to buy a whole pack everytime I go to a bar just for a few cigarettes. Then end up having to smoke the rest of the pack the next couple days. As far as promoting it as healthy packs, maybe if there was an 80% less chance of cancer. But 14%, that’s almost no difference.

  71. This is to good to be true.. I laughed so hard when I read this.. Are we sure the Onion isn’t behind this one?

  72. I didn’t know such a product was available, but I’ve been saying for a while that it should be.

    1) Speaking from experience, one of the hardest things about quitting is that cigarettes only come in 24 packs. This makes it harder to cut down before quitting completely because if you have them, you probably don’t have the willpower yet to resist smoking them, whereas if you don’t have them (because there’s only 6 in a pack), you do have the willpower to resist going to the store for more.

    2) When you fall off the wagon, which happens to nearly everyone at some point when quitting, there’s a much higher chance of getting back on if you have the option of buying 6 instead of 24.

    3) Many people only smoke when they drink. It would be much better for them to have the option of buying a 6 pack instead of a 24 pack.