The Truth About Winston Churchill’s Legendary Cigar Habit

Winston Churchill is arguably the most well-known of the former British prime ministers. He served as such from 1940 until 1945, then again from 1951 until 1955. He’s thought of, by many, as a hero and is believed to be one of the main forces that kept the UK fighting the Nazis in WWII. It was a tough war and Churchill’s speeches, some of the most famous speeches in the world, were inspirational in a time of broken spirits.

There are plenty of people — mostly British conservatives — who consider Churchill to be the greatest Brit to have ever lived. Though, he definitely had his downsides, you know, like his racism and basically being a war criminal. But, hey, he refused to submit to the Nazis when they were getting the crap bombed out of them, so he’s got that going for him. No one would ever accuse the guy of being a quitter. It didn’t matter if it was war, boozing, or his insatiable smoking habit.

Churchill's smoking habit was impressive

It seems as if Winston Churchill wouldn’t be caught dead without a cigar. Whether it be in his mouth, between his fingers, or calling to him from his breast pocket, the cigar was always there. Seriously, almost every picture or video of the former prime minister shows it. He’s even been photographed multiple times on a stretcher with a cigar still in his mouth. He smoked so many cigars that the standard-sized cigar is now named the “Churchill” after this notorious smoker. That has to count as some type of smoker’s award if there ever was one.

When Robert Fox, one of the owners of the cigar shop James J. Fox, was interviewed about Churchill’s cigar habit, he provided hand-written ledgers and other documentation showing that Churchill purchased hundreds of thousands of cigars from their shop. In one six-month period, Churchill purchased over 800 cigars from there shop alone, and according to Fox, their shop was one of many that Churchill frequented. An advisor to the Board of The International Churchill Society, Lee Pollock, backed up Fox on his evaluation of Churchill’s smoking problem saying that Churchill had a collection of 3,000-4,000 cigars in his house at any given time.

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