Jo de Mille stops a selection of cigarette-toting London commuters to ask them about their puffing preferences.

Maria Perez, 27.
“I smoke Marlboro Lights or Camel Lights as I prefer the lighter taste. When I first started smoking, at 15, I smoked Lucky Strikes. I then started trying out friends’ cigarettes and have ended up sticking with Marlboro and Camel Lights. It would definitely affect me if smoking were banned in pubs as I particularly enjoy a cigarette with a drink.”

Naseem Khan, 45.
“I grew up in Afghanistan and started smoking there when I was 20. I smoked Marlboro until 10 years ago when I came to the UK and discovered Benson & Hedges. B&H cigarettes were new to me as they weren’t available in Afghanistan at the time. “Now I probably smoke B&H through habit. I haven’t tried any other brands for 10 years as I like the taste.”

Victoria Hail, 17.
“I first started smoking when I was 13 but it wasn’t until last year that I started smoking properly and buying my own cigarettes on a regular basis. Even now, though, I don’t smoke heavily - it’s usually when I’m drinking with friends. I always smoke Marlboro Menthol as I like the minty taste. It feels healthier, although I know it’s not really.”

Jesse Chehak, 26. “I’m from New York and am over in the UK visiting friends. The first cigarettes I tried were Marlboro Lights, which was when I was about 15 in high school. I smoked them for a few years then switched to American Spirits for health reasons: they don’t contain all the chemicals that normal cigarettes have in them. They are probably more expensive than normal cigarettes but I’m willing to pay that bit extra if they’re better for me. I haven’t seen them anywhere in the UK, though, so I’ve been smoking Camel Blues.”

Tim Stuart, 24.
“All my friends smoke Marlboro, so that’s what I smoke too as we tend to share our cigarettes out. To be honest, though, I tend to smoke whichever cigarettes are nearest to me. I’m not very brand loyal, I just enjoy smoking. Price is an issue but Marlboro never seem to be any more expensive than the other brands. I will give up at some stage but it would be too hard given my lifestyle at the moment. All my friends smoke, and it’s hard to resist when you have a drink in your hand.”

Sebastian Czajka, 31.
“I smoke standard Marlboro cigarettes, purely because I like the taste. I gave up last year for a few months but I couldn’t have wanted it enough as I’m now a full-time smoker again. “Most people seem to prefer Marlboro as they’re good quality cigarettes which are reasonably priced. The taste is also a big reason for buying them. “I don’t have children, but if I did I would have to give up for good as I don’t think it’s a good image for kids to see.”