Literature and art often contain quotations or representations of various brands of cigarettes, or illustrations of people smoking. Although this sometimes happens because people think that artistic needs should prevail, we think that sometimes it is not fair.
Today we know that smoking is bad for our health. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that tobacco has caused 100 million deaths over the course of the 20th century.
Moreover, smoking is a strong psychological addiction that causes stress to a person throughout their lifetime. Unfortunately, this information was not available in the past, and cigarette brands such as MS were very popular.
If you like to quit smoking please check The Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr and join the millions who have become non-smokers using his method.
MS is a brand of cigarettes that has been produced since 1969 and that is based on the concept of state monopoly. Within a few years, they became the most popular cigarettes in Italy.
The name MS, which is widely known to refer to a state monopoly, derives from the Latin Messis Summa, meaning “best crop” (in this case, relating to tobacco). As a popular joke, MS has also become an acronym for morte sicura, that is, “certain death”.
The MS were first marketed by the Ente Tabacchi Italiano, now owned by BAT (British American Tobacco).There are over thirty types MS cigarettes available today.
These cigarettes have also appeared in many Italian movies, especially during the seventies, and endorsed by actors such as Nino Manfredi.
Few people know that the famous MS were manufactured in the Manifattura Tabacchi (Tobacco Factory) in Florence. This factory was so important that it had its own set of train tracks leading from the railway station directly into the plant.
The tracks of the line that led to the Stazione Leopolda passed through the factory, in the direction of Cascine, passing under the railway bridge.
The building was built during the fascist era for the production of cigarettes. Over time, the Tobacco Factory replaced the two factories used for processing tobacco located at the ex-convent of St. Ursula.
A plaque in the Piazza Puccini recalls how the Tobacco Factory was on the war front along the River Mugnone in August 1944 and was subjected to fierce fighting between partisan forces and German forces during the Liberation.
The factory finally closed on March 16, 2001. Its future use is presently unknown.
The classic pack of MS cigarettes is in white and gold with letters in red and black.
Over the years, its layout has changed, and many different versions now exist. However, Italians are certainly linked to that first classic package… the symbol of an era.
Pictures by Wikimedia and Curiositasufirenze