Made-in-China Marlboros - a major mistake by Philip Morris International..

July 23, 2008 - The first commercial batch of made-in-China Marlboros were produced at the Changsha Cigarette Factory on July 18, according to a Tobacco China Online report. (China’s First Home-made Marlboro Cigarettes Come off Production Line,China RealNews, 7/22/2008.)

Look for fake Marlboro cigarettes to flood the world markets. About half of all fake imports into America and the EU now come from China. Tobacco factories just may produce the genuine Marlboro cigarettes during the day and knock out the illegal copies at night. The sale of fake drugs from China and other countries is expected to reach $75 billion by 2010, a 92% increase from 2005. (Fake drug sales could nearly double by 2010"Fake drug sales 'could nearly double by 2010 by Phil Taylor)

Philip Morris International has licensed production of its Marlboro cigarettes to China National Tobacco. Changsha Cigarette Factory of China Tobacco Hunan Industrial Corporation has established a partnership with Philip Morris to produce Marlboro cigarettes for the latter company. The factory plans to produce 1,000 cases of Marlboro cigarettes in August, 2008.

Marlboro’s move into China will take years, but it could ultimately be the biggest piece of the story for investors. Here's why: China has 350 million smokers, including 60% of the men there. Each year, they puff on 2.3 trillion cigarettes, or about two-fifths of the cigarettes smoked around the world, according to JPMorgan Chase analyst Erik Bloomquist. The Marlboro Man Speaks Chinese Now by Michael Brush, Columnist, MSN Money, 6/3/2008. (