Before becoming a cigarette producer with its own brand, Yesmoke sold more than 6 million cartons of 200 cigarettes every year: Marlboro, Camel, Winston… and all the most popular Big Tobacco brands.
For some people this was the most colossal cigarette smuggling operation in the history of crime; for others it was the opening of an innovative, legitimate, free and more economical distribution channel.
The “Tobacco Napster”, as the press called it, shipped its first pack of cigarettes in January 2000.
Almost 5 years later, on November 16th, 2004, it was forced to surrender when 200 U.S. agents stormed the J.F. Kennedy airport in New York, blocked a DHL cargo coming from Switzerland, and seized a large shipment of cigarettes for the United States, including the new “Yesmoke” made in Switzerland.
“A blitz like this one had never been seen before”, headlined the newspapers on the next day.
Just a few days before this attack, the inauguration had been held of a new cigarette production plant in Switzerland, which Yesmoke Tobacco S.A. had built while it was selling Marlboros to its American customers. It had a production capacity of 25 million cartons per year and it was supposed to be dedicated entirely to the production of a new brand of cigarettes called “Yesmoke”, 100% natural tobacco, provided even with… the expiration date stamped on each packet.
And on November 13th, Yesmoke's online store had begun selling these “Yesmoke's” to its American customers. But, because of the New York Airport blitz, not even one packet reached its destination.
As we will see, the new brand was skilfully “neutralised” in the following months in Switzerland, where the authorities decided that the entire Yesmoke warehouse stock had to be destroyed, right down to the last cigarette. The reason, in this case, was the a Swiss Canton's disapproval of the writing “Smoke Better”, printed on of the Yesmoke cigarette packets.
But our customers needn't worry, in August 2007 “Yesmokes” cigarettes are back on the market; they are produced in Italy in a new plant in Turin. Moreover, the annual production capacity is doubled: 50 million cartons, equal to 10 billion cigarettes… The war is not over!
…The BBC spoke very positively of Yesmoke's idea. This program, in which everyone agreed that “taxes should be paid only once”, set off a boom of sales in English speaking countries, including far-off Australia and … Read more »
…The DHL cargo plane with the first load of the fresh “Yesmoke” Made in Switzerland, ready to be cleared by customs, was blocked and all the cigarettes were confiscated. After 30 million cartons of Marlboros, the … Read more »
…On August 7th 2007, 7 years, 7 months and 7 days after Yesmoke's birth (that has been at the precise stroke of the advent of the third millennium), they inaugurated “Yesmoke”, the first Italian factory … Read more »
Web site January 2000 Here is the first Home Page of the Yesmoke.com site, with a choice of… 3 brands. In the summer of 2001, Philip Morris enjoined Yesmoke not to use the cowboy image. The tobacco … Read more »