Last Gauloise factory shuts down

Sept. 1, 2005 at 12:51 PM

LILLE, France, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Connoisseurs of Gauloise cigarettes may have puffed the last of the French-made pungent variety with the closure of the last factory making them in that country.

"We faced a fast-growing overcapacity due to declining sales," said Aneta Lazarevic, a spokeswoman for Altadis, which made the cigarette. "Just like all categories of food products, people seem to want a sweeter taste."

Closure of the factory in the northern industrial city of Lille will result in a loss of 447 jobs, the International Herald Tribune reported. The Gauloise cigarettes will now be made in a factory in Spain, but for the French it is the end of an era.

Gauloise cigarettes, which sport the winged helmet of the ancient French Gauls, were favored by Jean-Paul Sartre and Pablo Picasso, the report said.

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