Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => Nicholas II => Topic started by: myhusbandswife on October 06, 2009, 03:02:50 PM

Title: Did N smoke ?
Post by: myhusbandswife on October 06, 2009, 03:02:50 PM
I know he smoked cigars, but did he also smoke cigarettes? I thought I saw a pic of him smoking a cigarette..but couldn't make it out fully. Did Alix smoke also?
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Forum Admin on October 06, 2009, 03:20:10 PM
Nicholas chain smoked cigarettes almost all day long.
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Yelena Aleksandrovna on October 06, 2009, 03:27:12 PM
Do you know how many cigarettes he used to smoke?
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Magdalena on October 06, 2009, 03:38:49 PM
yeah, even Sandro wrote many times in his diaries that Nicky was always smoking, and even more when he was ad or stressed (i think it's perfectly understandable)...
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Douglas on October 06, 2009, 03:43:45 PM
Nicholas even introduced at least one of his daughters to smoking.  There are quite a few photos of him smoking.....or at least holding or trying to hide a cigarette.
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Magdalena on October 06, 2009, 03:46:42 PM
I wonder what Alix thought about his habit... maybe she was smoking along with her husband?? Huh
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Forum Admin on October 06, 2009, 03:50:50 PM
Alexandra did not smoke.  I do know that one emigre Cossack kept an old burnt match that he had used to once light a cigarette for the Emperor, and that often, guests would quietly pick up a butt from one of the cigarettes the Emperor had smoked as a souvenir.
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Grand Duchess Jennifer on October 06, 2009, 04:10:45 PM
Nicholas even introduced at least one of his daughters to smoking.  

There are pictures of them smoking, and there's also a letter where Tatiana says she was enjoying the cigarette Nicholas had given her.

Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: myhusbandswife on October 06, 2009, 04:30:09 PM
I see both the cigarettes! Thank you all so much. It's interesting to me that a lot of people smoked back then, but you rarely hear of any cancers back than...or maybe they didn't know what Cancer was back then?
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: myhusbandswife on October 06, 2009, 04:31:43 PM
Oops, forgot to say Forum Admin, that is such an interesting little tidbit, thank you for sharing that!
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Magdalena on October 06, 2009, 04:35:54 PM
well, Ally, she's DEFINITELY holding a cigarette in that pic! thanks for posting it!
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Douglas on October 06, 2009, 05:03:22 PM
Yes, that's the famous photo of Tatiana holding a cigarette in the rowboat.  I do believe that there are also other photos of N smoking with his daughter.

Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Magdalena on October 06, 2009, 05:04:13 PM
but I thought that's Maria in that picture...?
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Grand Duchess Jennifer on October 06, 2009, 05:59:06 PM
It is Maria. :) Douglas probably made a typo. Maria and Tatiana do not look alike.
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: nena on October 07, 2009, 10:50:20 AM
He used to smoke some Turkish sorts of cigarettes. OTMA used to smoke to relax their nerves.
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: myhusbandswife on October 07, 2009, 11:33:53 AM
Thank you, I love the little details like that!
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Sasha_Katerina on October 07, 2009, 06:34:23 PM
i dont have the picture on my computer but you can see that they all share cigs in the set of photos with tatiana, nicholas, and gd dmitri, they have all been passing around a cigarette in these photos. does anyone have these?
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Yelena Aleksandrovna on October 07, 2009, 06:49:56 PM
What interesting topic!! I would never imagined that Nicholas would like to promote that
habit to his daugthers, or that Tatiana smoked with him. About OMA, do you know if they
smoked too? Or if they just tasted a cigarete. I doubt if really he could feel better smoking
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Grand Duchess Jennifer on October 07, 2009, 07:03:25 PM
All of OTMA smoked to calm their nerves. There's photographic evidence, just search "smoking" in the search bar. This thread has a large amount of information and has some photos:

http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=43.0
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Yelena Aleksandrovna on October 07, 2009, 07:13:08 PM
Thank you very999 much!!
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: historyfan on October 07, 2009, 08:25:04 PM
What interesting topic!! I would never imagined that Nicholas would like to promote that
habit to his daugthers, or that Tatiana smoked with him. About OMA, do you know if they
smoked too? Or if they just tasted a cigarete. I doubt if really he could feel better smoking


Remember, we're talking about a time when smoking was not only considered ok, it was considered healthy (controlled weight and appetite, calmed nerves).  Now, of course, we know much differently.  Then, they had a totally different view.
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: historyfan on October 07, 2009, 08:26:00 PM
Alexandra did not smoke.  I do know that one emigre Cossack kept an old burnt match that he had used to once light a cigarette for the Emperor, and that often, guests would quietly pick up a butt from one of the cigarettes the Emperor had smoked as a souvenir.

She did indeed, at least occasionally.  She makes reference to it in Fuhrmann's "Wartime Correspondence".
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Yelena Aleksandrovna on October 07, 2009, 08:37:28 PM
Remember, we're talking about a time when smoking was not only considered ok, it was considered healthy (controlled weight and appetite, calmed nerves).  Now, of course, we know much differently.  Then, they had a totally different view.
That's true, the thing that I was wondering was if he could really calm his nerves... What different ideas
about smoking!
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Constantinople on April 09, 2010, 09:10:01 AM
Coonsidering the horrible end the family came to, it really doesnt matter which health affecting habits they indulged in.
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Magdalena on April 09, 2010, 09:17:38 AM
She did indeed, at least occasionally.  She makes reference to it in Fuhrmann's "Wartime Correspondence".

can you please post the excerpt where she mentions it? I would be really grateful:)
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Alixz on April 10, 2010, 03:32:47 AM
I was surprised to see this question asked again and again.

Nicholas smoked like a chimney and had the bad breath and bad teeth to prove it.  He also didn't like going to the dentist (like most of us) and I have read that his teeth were stained and full of cavities.

I have also read that all of the Grand Duchesses, including Anastasia, smoked with their father's permission.  I have also read that Alexandra smoked as did all of her sisters (I know that FA says no to this) but I know that I have read it in more that one source.

Smoking was a "right of passage" for most young people until the Surgeon General began to speak out against it in the mid 20th century.

All of this has been discussed before and if you use the "search" engine in the forum, you should be able to find the thread you are looking for.
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: bestfriendsgirl on January 27, 2011, 09:52:45 AM
I've always wondered how Nicholas II could reconcile smoking like a freight train with being so physically active. Even taking into consideration the fact that the tobacco he smoked probably wasn't near as toxic as that in cigarettes today, you'd think that after constantly getting short of breath while rowing, playing tennis, etc. he'd put two and two together and try to quit.
Also, it surprises me that Alix and OTMA smoked ... in that era, in America at least, smoking by women and especially young girls was considered "trashy."
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Mandie, the Gothic Empress on March 20, 2011, 01:09:04 PM
the Empress and her daughters smoked in private but never in public, which in public is consider trashy for women to smoke.

I'm suprise that the Empress smoked even having weak lungs (after the birth of her son, she had leg and chest pains constantly) , since she had breathing problems and pains. today, a doctor would have told her to quit smoking.
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Alixz on March 21, 2011, 08:23:40 AM
I remember reading that the Empress had "conditions" and that she told the doctor what was wrong with her and he treated it whether or not she actually had those conditions or not is a question we will probably never know the answer to.

The doctor treated her for what she said she had and if he disagreed with her, he would no longer be her doctor.

I don't think that doctors back then even knew that smoking was bad for the health.  It was a right of passage and "en vogue" for ladies of the aristocracy to smoke.

The Empress and the Dowager Empress both tired to hide that they smoked, but that always reminds me of one of my aunts who, to this day, ties to hide that she smokes.  We all humor her because we have all known since our childhoods that she smokes.  She is in her 80s now and we all just pretend that the cigarette isn't behind her back all the time.
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: TimM on March 21, 2011, 10:31:06 AM
Of course, they didn't know how bad smoking was for your health back then.
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Dust_of_History on March 21, 2011, 07:20:32 PM
Alexandra herself once stated that nicotine is very harmful. So I think they knew that smoking was somehow bad for their health. Maybe they just didn't know that smoking can cause cancer and/or other serious diseases.
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: historyfan on March 21, 2011, 08:37:53 PM
Alexandra herself once stated that nicotine is very harmful.

Just curious - where did you read that?
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Dust_of_History on March 22, 2011, 05:26:34 PM
I read that in the book "Alexei - The Son of the last Tsar" by Elisabeth Heresch. The incident took place when Alexandra got cigarette smoke in her face whereupon she said something like: "Nicotine is poisonous. You should stop smoking." Her neighbour replied: " Your Majesty, I have been smoking for more than 70 years now and it has not caused any harm to me yet." Sorry, I can't remember exactly ;-)
Title: Re: Did N smoke ?
Post by: Naslednik Norvezhskiy on March 22, 2011, 10:26:38 PM
Lol, I can imagine that the peasants, who althought not having open fireplaces nevertheless probably had quite bad ventilation and a good bit of smoke in their wood-heated izbas and banyas, thought their masters' predilection for smoking the tobacco instead of snuffing or chewing it quite strange! There is probably a very good reason why Cinderella (and her Norwegian counterpart Espen the Ash Lad) don't smoke! :-) Not even speaking of those of NII's Finnish subjects who were slash-and-burn farmers and took "Karelian smoke saunas"!

The subject of the Tsar not even Marlboro Man could turn into a smoker:

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fe/Raatajat_rahanalaiset.JPG)
Eero Järnefelt: Kaski / Raatajat rahanalaiset - Slash-and-burn or Drudges of Money
(The painting was inspired by famines from failed harvests in 1892-1893 in Finland (note the swollen stomach of the girl). In the sparsely populated interior of Northern Finland it was still possible to cut down the forest, burn it and grow very rich crops in the ashes.)