What Does Tommy Shelby Smoke?

Tommy Shelby is known to smoke hand-rolled cigarettes, which he often rolls himself. He is known as the protagonist of the British television series Peaky Blinders, is a heavy smoker, and is frequently seen smoking throughout the show. He  The specific brand or type of tobacco he uses is not explicitly mentioned in the show. However, given that the show is set in the 1920s and 1930s, it’s likely that he is smoking a type of unfiltered, hand-rolled tobacco commonly available in England during that time period.

Peaky Blinders, the British television series, is known for its style, characters, and gripping storylines. Tommy Shelby, the lead character, is famous for his suave demeanor, sharp wit, and his penchant for smoking. In this article, we will take a closer look at what Tommy Shelby smokes and what makes his smoking habit so iconic.

The Style of Smoking in Peaky Blinders

Smoking in Peaky Blinders is much more than just a bad habit. It is a style statement that is used to convey power, wealth, and sophistication. The characters in the show smoke with a sense of authority, as if their cigarettes are an extension of their personality. They light their cigarettes with slow, deliberate movements and take long drags, exhaling the smoke in swirling patterns.

This style of smoking is particularly evident in Tommy Shelby, who is often shown smoking in moments of tension or contemplation. His cigarette is almost a prop, a visual cue to the viewer that he is in control and that he is not to be underestimated.

The Hand-Rolled Cigarettes

One of the most distinctive features of Tommy Shelby’s smoking habit is the fact that he rolls his own cigarettes. This is a reflection of the time period in which the show is set. In the 1920s and 1930s, hand-rolled cigarettes were a popular alternative to pre-rolled cigarettes. They were cheaper to produce and allowed smokers to customize their smoking experience by choosing their own tobacco and paper.

Tommy Shelby’s preference for hand-rolled cigarettes is also reflective of his character. He is a man who takes pride in doing things himself and being self-sufficient. Rolling his own cigarettes is just another way for him to assert his independence and his control over his own life.

The Type of Tobacco

While the show doesn’t explicitly mention the type of tobacco that Tommy Shelby smokes, it’s safe to assume that it is a type of unfiltered, hand-rolled tobacco that was commonly available in England during the time period in which the show is set. This type of tobacco was typically sold in pouches and was known for its strong flavor and distinct aroma.

Unfiltered tobacco is particularly harsh on the lungs, and it’s not uncommon for smokers of unfiltered cigarettes to develop respiratory problems later in life. However, this risk is often outweighed by the immediate pleasure that smoking provides, and for characters like Tommy Shelby, the act of smoking is an important part of their persona.

The Symbolism of Smoking

Smoking in Peaky Blinders is more than just a character trait. It is a symbol that represents power, rebellion, and danger. Characters who smoke are often portrayed as being more daring and unconventional than those who don’t. They are willing to take risks and to go against the norms of society.

For Tommy Shelby, smoking is a way to assert his dominance over others. It is a way for him to show that he is in control and that he is not afraid to take risks. It also serves as a reminder that he is not to be underestimated, that he is always one step ahead of his opponents.


In conclusion, Tommy Shelby’s smoking habit is one of the defining features of his character. His preference for hand-rolled cigarettes, his deliberate style of smoking, and the symbolic significance of smoking in the show all contribute to his iconic image. While smoking is a dangerous and unhealthy habit, in the world of Peaky Blinders, it is an important part of the characters’ personas and the overall aesthetic of the show.

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