The Case For The Cigarette Case

Words by: Andrew Williams

russian-silver-and-niello

Having finished my last carton of Duty Free fags it’s time to make good on my New Year’s resolution and quit smoking. So I’m the last person to encourage such a bad habit – before we get any comments on irresponsibility.

But, for all those unrepentant smokers, I advocate investing in a cigarette case – and by that I mean a proper hinged case like the one above.

A bit of old school elegance from a more stylish age, the fact that most smokers don’t use them is another reason to adopt one in my view.  As long as I’ve been a smoker I’ve carried one, and there are practical benefits.

The first, and most important, is that having a packet of fags in your pocket, with its hard rectangular shape ruins the line of your suit.  A cigarette case being no more bulky than a wallet, with softer edges isn’t so obtrusive, enabling you to maintain an elegant silhouette without an unsightly bulge in your pocket.

In my own case there were other considerations for carrying one. There is some snobbery amongst cigarette smokers, the worst offenders being social smokers – that odd breed who never smoke unless it is with a drink in hand. These folk never buy fags merely beg them off of fellow drinkers.

While asking for a fag they will tell you they only smoke Marlboro Lights, and then proceed to turn their nose up at the lesser (read cheaper) brand you’ve offered them. They refuse your cigarette or take one under sufferance. But, to coin a phrase, people are suckers for a bit of magic, and when brandishing a silver cigarette case no one questioned the quality of the cigarette inside. Indeed, most assumed they were getting something special.

A cigarette case wasn’t an unhelpful ice breaker either. In the days when you could smoke in bars, it wasn’t unusual to be approached for a cigarette by women. The bringing the case out, popping it open and the rarity of seeing one usually invited comment and conversation. And as any player will tell you, initiating conversation is the first step to a successful pick-up.