Churchill’s fondness for cigars was born during his time in Havana, Cuba, in 1885, along with a lifetime habit of siestas. Just before his twenty-first birthday, Churchill went on a semi-official expedition there and witnessed the fighting between the Spanish government soldiers and guerilla fighters at Arroyo Blanco. He was to continue smoking cigars throughout his life. Like his drinking, Churchill’s consumption of cigars was not as prodigious as it seemed. He tended to chew on cigars, puffing the smoke out rather than inhaling, often discarding them half-smoked. It is said that when Field Marshall Viscount Montgomery told him, ‘I neither drink nor smoke and am a hundred per cent fit’, Churchill famously replied ‘I drink and smoke and I am two hundred per cent fit’.
Get the Churchill Bulletin, delivered to your inbox, once a month.