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Okinawa Cigarettes

TabacoFew people from outside Okinawa may not know it, but Okinawa produces two local brands of cigarettes called Uruma and Violet.

Uruma cigarettes have been sold since 1960. The package features a sea horse and is orange, black and white in color. In 1972 when Okinawa was returned to Japan, the Japan Tobacco Monopoly Corporation decided to keep selling Uruma because it was popular among locals. It’s classified as a third-grade product that gives it a special tax status, meaning Uruma cigarettes cost only ¥250 for a pack of 20.

The other brand, Violet, has a purple package and has been sold since 1959. As Violet was another popular brand at the time of reversion, the Japanese Tobacco Monopoly decided to keep selling it, too. Violet costs ¥240 a pack and is the cheapest brand of cigarettes in Okinawa.

Both contain 17mg for tar and 1.2mg nicotine, and are available only in Okinawa. Especially older people still keep buying them despite the increases in cigarette tax over the years. 


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