Dennis Hopper ( smoking a Kool)- Photographs — Alex Waterhouse-Hayward
Leslie Phillips (smoking an H. Upmann)
Clive Barker (smoking a Cohiba)
Robbie Robertson ( smoking an H. Upmann)

Through the years I have had the opportunity to photograph people smoking and I never gave it a thought. At the time is was seen as glamorous or part of intellectual brilliance. The first two cigarettes I ever smoked in high school exploded in my face and my classmates thought it was very funny. By the time I was 20 I was smoking pipes and trying every aromatic blend I could find including Middleton’s Cherry Blend (ugh!) and Sugar Barrel. I was more discerning when I was 25 as I had settled for Edgeworth which came in nice blue tins. If I had kept the tins I would be quite rich now. Before I stopped the habit some 16 years ago I was smoking stuff like Balkan Sobranie. Journalist Les Wiseman said it smelled like Doberman droppings. But my favourite tobacco came in tight little round slices. It was Bell’s Three Nuns. I had been attracted to it ads, “Three Nuns Pipe Tobacco, None Nicer.”

As for the folks above, had it been me I would have been smoking a Montecristo Claro which was my brand of choice when I smoked cigars in my youth.

Originally published at

Into Bunny Watson. I am a Vancouver-based magazine photographer/writer. I have a popular daily blog which can be found at: