• Sat. May 25th, 2024

Japan Subculture Research Center

A guide to the Japanese underworld, Japanese pop-culture, yakuza and everything dark under the sun.

Mild Seven cigarettes are no more to be found in the smoker’s paradise. Japan Tobacco Inc. changed the name of its flagship cigarette brand from “Mild Seven” to “Mevius” in a bid to expand its global market share and stopped selling Mild Seven cigarettes this week. In their heyday, they were the 5th best-selling cigarette in the world. As of today, there may still be a few Mom and Pop  stores carrying this iconic brand but better smoke’em  while you got them—soon they will vanish in a cloud of mild smoke.

Mild cigarettes are for wimps. Mild Seven, Sayonara! Hello, Mevius!
Mild cigarettes are for wimps. Mild Seven, Sayonara! Hello, Mevius!

Mild Seven launched circa 1977, was Japan’s  leading national brand of cigarettes with a 30 percent share of the domestic market. However, in recent years, the use of the word “mild” in the product’s name aroused controversy because it seemed to imply that the cigarettes were somehow less harmful than other brands. (I can remember when they were sold in cans,  and sometimes placed on the bar of a bar in a seedy part of Minato-ku. Kind of like free pretzels. I’d smoke them, because they were free–and always regret it.  Mild as menopause.)

Japan takes a very mild attitude towards smoking. Most life insurance companies neither penalize or reward smokers versus non-smokers. In other words, smoking in Japan doesn’t effect your life insurance payments either way in most cases. (If you don’t believe me, ask my life insurance representative.)

For those who are worried that their favorite cigarette is gone, fear not. The taste and composition  of the cigarette will remain unchanged and over the next 10 months, JT will gradually introduce the Mevius brand in international markets while solidifying brand recognition in Japan . According to JT, the company selected the Mevius name to maintain continuity with its predecessor: both include the letters “M” and “S.” JT did not consider changing the name to Masochistic Seven or do an about face and call it Harsh Seven. No one is sure what the Seven in Mild Seven really refers to, unless smoking is consider the mildest of the seven deadly sins. (We forget what the seven deadly sins are but certainly smoking must be amongst them. Any Catholics in the house?)

Mild Seven has been the best-selling cigarette brand in Japan since 1978. Japanese sales top 1 trillion yen and are sold in Russia, South Korean, Taiwan and over ten more countries. Last year, there were 76,500,000,000 Mild Seven cigarettes sold.  That’s a lot of coffin nails.  Will Mevius do as much damage to the lungs of the world as Mild Seven? Japan Tobacco is waiting for that answer with bated breath…or waiting slightly short of breath, from smoking too many Mevius Menthol Lights. 

One question still remains: what the hell does Mevius mean or stand for? One explanation is that M is for Mild, EV is for evolution, I is for “I”,  U is for “You” the consumer, and S is for Seven.  But that isn’t funny enough. The person who gives the most plausible and amusing answer wins an original pack of rare Mild Seven cigarettes. The loser gets a pack of Mevius. We’re anxious to hear your thoughts.


Managing editors of the blog.

22 thoughts on “Goodbye Friendly “Mild Seven” Cigarettes; Hello “Mevius”!”
  1. MEVIUS — a Mistake in EVery-ONE (I, as in the Roman numeral) U Smoke

    Anyway, it won’t matter what it means if they can get Tommy Lee Jones to market it.

      1. Please send me the mild seven on this Adress:

        Aleksandar Lukic,
        Luzernerstrasse 8,
        6343 Rotkreuz,

        Nice greetings

  2. the seven in mild seven came from the seven star brand of cigarettes. seven star of course meaning the big dipper. mevius is a misspelling of the planet Moebius メビウス i assume.

  3. Mr. Adelstein ,

    One thing that confused me about Tokyo – can you smoke wherever you want or is it limited to certain places? I was never really sure and of no one I was with (Americans like myself) knew either.

  4. Generally I do not read post on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to take a look at and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thank you, very great post.

  5. Howdy! I realize this is somewhat off-topic however I
    needed to ask. Does operating a well-established blog like yours take a massive amount
    work? I am brand new to running a blog but I do write in my journal on a daily
    basis. I’d like to start a blog so I will be
    able to share my experience and thoughts online.
    Please let me know if you have any kind of suggestions or tips for
    new aspiring blog owners. Thankyou!

  6. I live in Vietnam and thought MEVIUS was a mafia scam to sell those things as real Mild Seven. The first pack I bought made me cough and I thought it was a bad pack of MILD SEVEN, then I saw MEVIUS……. ahh! I thought. a scam, Mafia Entrepreneurs Very Inspirational Undertaking- Scam NOW I will believe all the store owners that tell me the name has changed……..sad sad day….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *