Woodbine (cigarette)

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A Woodbine vending machine, now in the Staffordshire County Museum at Shugborough Hall, England.

Woodbine is a brand of cigarette made in England by W. D. & H. O. Wills (now Imperial Tobacco) from 1888 to date. In the early 1970s Woodbine Cigarettes were released in Australia as "Wild Woodbine".

Noted for its strong unfiltered cigarettes, the brand was popular in the early 20th century, especially with soldiers during World War I and World War II. In common parlance, the unfiltered high-tar Woodbine was one of the brands collectively known as "gaspers" until about 1950, because new smokers found their strong smoke difficult to inhale. A filtered version was launched in the United Kingdom in 1948, but was discontinued in 1988.

In popular culture[edit]

  • Woodbines are mentioned several times in the play Dancing at Lughnasa.
  • In the film Telstar: The Joe Meek Story, the drummer of The Tornados stashes his Woodbines in the kick drum.
  • Bert Baxter, a character in the famous Adrian Mole series, often smokes a Woodbine cigarette.
  • Jennifer Paterson, celebrity chef of the "Two Fat Ladies", is seen smoking Woodbine in several episodes of the show.[citation needed]
  • Frank McCourt mentions Woodbine cigarettes as his mother's favourite in his autobiography Angela's Ashes.
  • Van Morrison mentions buying five Woodbines at the shop on the corner on his lunch break in his song "Cleaning Windows".
  • Singer/Songwriter Lucinda Williams sings of "choking on woodbine" in the song "Factory Girls" on Flogging Molly's 2004 album Within a Mile of Home.
  • In James Herriot's books, his veterinary partner, Siegfried Farnon's (Donald Sinclair's) brother, Tristan (Brian Sinclair), smokes Woodbines.
  • Legendary chef Marco Pierre White in his autobiography 'The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness and the making of a Great Chef' is quoted saying,“Oh, that’s lovely wrist action you’ve got there. Fancy coming into the larder with me and earning yourself five woodbines?”[1]
  • Woodbines are mentioned in the novel, ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL, James Herriot
  • Woodbines are mentioned in The Greasy Chip Butty Song sung by fans of Sheffield United
  • Woodbines are mentioned in Ice, a novel by a Polish writer Jacek Dukaj.
  • Woodbines are mentioned often as being smoked by the main recurring characters in Robert Rankin stories.
  • Woodbines are mentioned several times by the characters in the photo-novel I Could Read the Sky, by Timothy O'Grady and Steve Pyke.