Bali Hai cigarettes are a kind of clove cigarette manufactured by the Indonesian company Djarum. According to Burn As One, Djarum is most known in America as the manufacturer of Djarum Blacks, a popular brand of clove cigarettes usually sold in distinctive wide cartons. When clove cigarettes were banned in the US in 2006, Americans began stocking up on Djarum cartons in Europe, where they remain a very popular alternative to unflavored cigarettes.
History of The Djarum Brand
Djarum was founded in 1951 in Kudus, Indonesia. Within two decades, the brand had become so lucrative that the company expanded to international markets. They became popular amongst college students and artists because of their distinctive fruity flavor and status as a luxury item--at twice to three times the price of unflavored cigarettes, they required a significant financial commitment on the part of the smoker. In the mid-90s, the higher taxes imposed on cigarette companies raised the price of unflavored cigarettes until they were nearly equal with Djarum cloves.
Status In Indonesia
Unbeknownst to most international smokers, Djarum is one of over five hundred clove cigarette brands in Indonesia, where cloves are called “kreteks” and are extremely common. Unlike other brands, however, Djarum is a very aggressive marketer--they consistently advertise more often and in more mediums than their competitors.
The Clove Craze In The West
In 1985, Time Magazine reported on the increased popularity of Djarum cigarettes in America, dubbing it the “clove craze.” This reflected the deluge of new advertising by Djarum in the country, as well as the increase in luxury spending that went along with the upswing in the national economy. Notably, Djarum marketed their cigarettes as lighter alternatives to unflavored cigarettes, which caused many smokers who were trying to quit to pick up clove cigarettes. However, clove cigarettes were not then (and still aren't) any healthier than unflavored cigarettes--in fact, many contain a higher concentration of nicotine and tar.
The Taste of Bali Hai Cigarettes
Bali Hai cigarettes have a lighter and fruitier flavor than Djarum Blacks. They are flavored with cinnamon, cardamom and clove. Many smokers also report hints of apple, banana and even jasmine.
Things To Keep In Mind When Smoking Bali Hai Cigarettes
Djarum cigarettes are packed much more tightly than American cigarettes, which means that a smoker has to take several hard drags before the cigarette begins to burn by itself. Be sure to keep your lighter on hand in case the cigarette goes out. In addition, keep in mind that Bali Hai cigarettes contain as much nicotine as unflavored cigarettes--smokers who are trying to quit will not help themselves by choosing Bali Hais over other cigarettes.
The Economics Of Smoking Bali Hai Cigarettes
Despite the cigarette price increases of the mid-90s, Bali Hai cigarettes are still more expensive than their American and European counterparts. In addition, many consumers will have to import them from Indonesia, which requires paying shipping costs and buying many cartons at a time. Since Bali Hai cartons contain an average of 12 to 16 cigarettes per pack--as opposed to the European and American average of 20--a smoker will spend more to get fewer cigarettes if he purchases Bali Hais. For this reason, you should look at Bali Hai cigarettes as a luxury investment in comparison with Western brands.
- Photo Credit cigarette image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com
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