Cigarettes in the Postwar Period

Unsurprisingly, the habits acquired by soldiers abroad did not vanish upon their demobilization and the return to Canada. Fuelled by this newfound mass market, domestic cigarette consumption reached new heights in the 1920s when an estimated 2.4 billion cigarettes were consumed in Canada per year.

The widespread distribution of cigarettes would be repeated in the Second World War on an even larger scale. Here again army issue cigarettes would be supplemented by those sent by friends and family, as well as through organizations like the YMCA, the Red Cross, the Canadian Legion. If the First World War began the cigarette’s ascent, the Second World War only accelerated it to greater heights.

Image: “‘Nanny’ the Pet  of a Canadian Mobile Veterinary Section Takes a Cigarette from the C.O. August, 1917.” Library Archives Canada. Dept. of National Defence. PA-001795 (O-1814).