What is Tommy Smoking in Peaky Blinders? Unveiling the Iconic Character's Cigarette Preference

What is Tommy Smoking in Peaky Blinders? Unveiling the Iconic Character’s Cigarette Preference

Unveiling the Iconic Character’s Cigarette Preference in Peaky Blinders: What is Tommy Smoking?


When it comes to iconic characters, there are few as enigmatic and captivating as Tommy Shelby from the hit TV show Peaky Blinders. Known for his ruthless nature, sharp wit, and impeccable style, Tommy Shelby’s character is also recognized for his ever-present cigarette. But what exactly is Tommy smoking on the show? In this article, we’ll delve into the world of Peaky Blinders and uncover the truth behind Tommy Shelby’s cigarette preference.

The Importance of Cigarettes in Peaky Blinders

Cigarettes play a significant role in Peaky Blinders, not only as props but also as a representation of the characters’ lifestyles and personalities. Smoking is used to highlight the intense and stressful nature of their lives in post-World War I Birmingham. Additionally, cigarettes serve as a symbol of rebellion and defiance against authority, reflecting the gang’s overall rebellious nature.

Tobacco Brands Featured on the Show

Throughout the series, Tommy Shelby is primarily seen smoking a brand of cigarettes called Sweet Afton. Sweet Afton is a real cigarette brand that was popular during the early 20th century in the United Kingdom. The brand has a distinct packaging design with golden initials on a dark background, making it instantly recognizable on screen.

The Appeal of Sweet Afton Cigarettes

What makes Tommy Shelby choose Sweet Afton cigarettes over other brands? One possibility is the association with sophistication and exclusivity. Sweet Afton cigarettes were often seen as a luxury brand, enjoyed by the upper class and those who embraced a more refined lifestyle. By smoking Sweet Afton, Tommy Shelby reinforces his image as a charismatic and influential leader.

Tommy’s Cigarette of Choice: A Reflection of the Era

Not only is Tommy Shelby’s cigarette preference a way to establish his character’s persona, but it is also a reflection of the time period in which the show is set. In the early 20th century, smoking was widespread, and many popular cigarette brands emerged. By selecting Sweet Afton, the show’s creators accurately capture the essence of the era, immersing viewers in the historical setting.

Alternative Cigarette Choices in Peaky Blinders

While Tommy Shelby primarily smokes Sweet Afton cigarettes, other characters in Peaky Blinders are seen with different brands. The choice of cigarettes for these characters is carefully considered to reflect their individual personalities and social status. It adds another layer of authenticity to the show’s portrayal of early 20th-century England.


Tommy Shelby’s choice of cigarette, the iconic Sweet Afton brand, adds depth and symbolism to his character in Peaky Blinders. It represents rebellion, sophistication, and a reflection of the time period. These small details contribute to the overall authenticity of the show, capturing the attention of audiences worldwide. So the next time you see Tommy Shelby lighting up, remember that his cigarette choice is more than just a prop – it’s a carefully crafted portrayal of his character’s essence.


1. What is the significance of Tommy Shelby’s smoking habit in Peaky Blinders?

Tommy Shelby’s smoking habit serves as an iconic element in his character portrayal, symbolizing his rebellious nature and self-destructive tendencies. He often uses cigarettes as a prop to enhance his cool and mysterious persona.

2. What brand of cigarettes does Tommy Shelby predominantly smoke?

Throughout the series, Tommy Shelby is mostly seen smoking non-filtered cigarettes. However, the brand is never explicitly mentioned.

3. Does Tommy Shelby exclusively smoke cigarettes?

No, Tommy Shelby occasionally smokes cigars as well. While cigarettes are his preference, cigars are reserved for special occasions or when he wants to make a bold statement.

4. Does Tommy Shelby’s smoking habit have any historical context?

Yes, smoking was a common habit during the early 20th century, when Peaky Blinders is set. It was a time when cigarettes were gaining popularity and associated with rebellion and masculinity, reflecting the era’s cultural norms.

5. How does Tommy Shelby’s smoking habit contribute to his characterization as a tough leader?

Tommy’s constant smoking reinforces his image as a hardened leader, adding an air of authority and toughness to his character. It serves as a visual representation of his audacity and fearlessness in the face of danger.

6. Are there any symbolic interpretations of Tommy Shelby’s cigarette preference?

Some viewers interpret Tommy’s smoking habit as an embodiment of his internal conflict and emotional turmoil. The act of smoking could represent a desire for control or a coping mechanism for the stresses of his life.

7. Are there health implications depicted or discussed regarding Tommy Shelby’s smoking habit in the show?

Throughout Peaky Blinders, the negative health effects of smoking are not explicitly highlighted or discussed in relation to Tommy’s character. However, it is important to note that smoking can have detrimental health consequences in reality.

8. How does smoking fit into the overall aesthetic of Peaky Blinders?

Smoking is one of the many elements that contribute to the gritty and atmospheric ambiance of Peaky Blinders. It complements the period setting and enhances the overall visual style of the show, reinforcing its dark and edgy tone.

9. Has Tommy Shelby’s smoking habit influenced popular culture?

Tommy Shelby’s smoking habit, along with his overall portrayal, has made a significant impact in popular culture. It has inspired numerous fans to imitate his style, including his choice of cigarettes, and has become synonymous with the character’s image itself.

10. Is there any deeper meaning behind Tommy Shelby’s choice of non-filtered cigarettes?

While the show doesn’t explicitly delve into the reasoning behind Tommy’s preference for non-filtered cigarettes, it can be seen as a deliberate choice to depict his rough and unrefined demeanor. Non-filtered cigarettes were often associated with working-class individuals during that time period, aligning with Tommy’s background and the Peaky Blinders’ roots in the lower class.