Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – With Saudis very selective of everything they buy and consume, a number of traditions have emerged regarding smoking, the activity most associated with a relaxed time.
Davidoff and Cartier are two of the most widely used brands, common with men and women alike. The manufacturing date, printed on the side of each cigarette packet, has become important for smokers, with many only buying cigarettes that were produced earlier in the month so as to preserve their freshness.
Others opt for buying in bulk but keep their cartoons in the fridge to safeguard the flavor, despite a lack of evidence in this regard.
Ghazi al Mohammad, a regular smoker, told Asharq al Awsat, “We are very selective about which cigarettes we smoke. The slightest changes can disturb one’s enjoyment, especially during the month of Ramadan when the first cigarette after breaking our fast determines one’s mood for the rest of the night.”
He added, “I always buy recently produced packets. Cigarettes lose their distinctive freshness and dry out if not smoked quickly or refrigerated.”
Maha, a Saudi female smoker, stated that her female friends only smoke very few brands after ensuring they were new and unique looking. “I prefer slender cigarettes as they are feminine and attractive”, she said.