What's in Tommy Shelby's Cigarette Case? Exploring the Smoking Habits of Peaky Blinders' Iconic Character

What’s in Tommy Shelby’s Cigarette Case? Exploring the Smoking Habits of Peaky Blinders’ Iconic Character


Tommy Shelby, the iconic character from the TV series Peaky Blinders, is known for his smoking habit and his trusty cigarette case. Throughout the show, he is often seen smoking and handling his cigarette case with a sense of elegance and mystery. In this article, we will explore what’s inside Tommy Shelby’s cigarette case and delve into the smoking habits of this beloved character.

1. Tommy Shelby’s Cigarette Case: A Symbol of Power

Tommy Shelby’s cigarette case serves as a symbolic accessory, reflecting his position of power and superiority. The elegant design and the engraved initials on the case showcase his attention to detail and fine taste. This small prop speaks volumes about his character, reinforcing his image as a confident and dangerous man.

2. The Contents: Hand-Rolled Cigarettes

Inside Tommy Shelby’s cigarette case, you will find hand-rolled cigarettes. Tommy is known to roll his cigarettes himself, a skill that is often associated with craftsmanship and attention to detail. Rolling his own cigarettes allows him to have control over the quality and strength of the tobacco, giving him a sense of autonomy and individuality.

3. The Tobaccos: A Blend of Tradition and Rebellion

Tommy Shelby’s choice of tobacco is an intriguing combination of tradition and rebellion. While he primarily smokes a traditional blend of English tobacco, he occasionally indulges in more exotic and unconventional flavors. This duality reflects Tommy’s complex personality, someone who adheres to tradition but is willing to push boundaries when needed.

4. Smoking Rituals: A Calming Distraction

For Tommy Shelby, smoking serves as a calming distraction in times of stress and uncertainty. Lighting a cigarette and taking a moment to enjoy the rich aroma and taste allows him to collect his thoughts and build a facade of control. This ritualistic behavior is a coping mechanism, helping him navigate the challenges that come with his criminal lifestyle.

5. The Art of Smoking: Creating an Aura of Mystery

Tommy Shelby’s smoking habits go beyond the act of consuming tobacco. The way he smokes, with controlled puffs and calculated exhales, adds to his aura of mystery. The smoke dances around him, emphasizing his enigmatic presence and adding another layer to his character. This attention to detail shows the level of craftsmanship that goes into portraying Tommy Shelby as a complex and captivating character.


Tommy Shelby’s cigarette case and smoking habits are not just superficial elements of his character; they are carefully crafted aspects that add depth and intrigue to the story. The choice of hand-rolled cigarettes, the blend of traditional and rebellious tobaccos, the smoking rituals, and the art of smoking itself all contribute to the enigma that is Tommy Shelby. Through these details, the character becomes more relatable and human, allowing audiences to connect with him on a deeper level.


1. What brand of cigarettes does Tommy Shelby smoke?

He smokes “Sweet Afton” cigarettes.

2. How many cigarettes are usually in Tommy Shelby’s cigarette case?

There are typically six cigarettes in his case.

3. Does Tommy Shelby always smoke the same brand?

No, he occasionally switches brands and can be seen smoking other cigarettes in some episodes.

4. What is the significance of Tommy Shelby’s cigarette case?

The cigarette case is not only a prop but also serves as a symbol of Tommy’s calm and calculated nature amidst the chaos of the Peaky Blinders’ world. It is often associated with his strategic thinking and methodical approach.

5. Are cigarettes a common element in the show Peaky Blinders?

Yes, smoking cigarettes is portrayed as a common habit among the characters in Peaky Blinders, reflecting the social norms and practices of the time period it is set in.

6. Are real cigarettes used during filming?

No, the cigarettes used on set are usually non-tobacco herbal cigarettes or special “stage cigarettes” that do not contain tobacco. This is done to protect the actors’ health and comply with smoking regulations on film sets.

7. What is the historical context behind smoking in the early 20th century?

During the early 20th century, smoking was widely socially acceptable and often seen as a symbol of sophistication and rebellion. It was a common habit among both men and women, and tobacco companies heavily promoted their products.

8. Does Tommy Shelby’s smoking habit have any narrative significance?

Tommy’s smoking habit is often used to depict his inscrutable and enigmatic nature. It adds depth to his character and creates a sense of intrigue around him. In some scenes, his smoking is used to create pauses and build tension.

9. Are there any health consequences addressed regarding smoking in the show?

While the negative health consequences of smoking are not specifically addressed in the show, it is worth noting that smoking was widely accepted at the time and the dangers of tobacco were not yet widely known or acknowledged.

10. How does Tommy Shelby’s cigarette case reflect his personality?

The cigarette case represents Tommy Shelby’s attention to detail and his stylish, refined image. Its presence also suggests his desire to remain in control and composed under any circumstances.