It’s the 55th anniversary of the landmark report by the Surgeon General of the US on the hazards of smoking. And so we have a quiz on smoking.

Puffs of smoke

1 John Rolfe, one of the earliest English settlers in the US, is regarded as the first person in the West to grow and sell tobacco. In which American state was he based, a name which appears in both a prominent cigarette brand in the US and a corporate headquarters for tobacco in India?

2 The Anglo-Chinese War between September 1839 and August 1842 is usually known by what name?

3 Which fictional character usually kept his tobacco, a common black shag, in a Persian slipper?

4 Which brand of American cigarettes famously featured future President Ronald Reagan in their advertising? They were also among James Bond’s favourites, and he asks for the brand in the 1959 novel Goldfinger .

5 Wayne McLaren, Dick Hammer, David McLean, Eric Lawson and Tobin Jackson were all models for a specific cigarette brand. They all died from smoking-related issues, resulting in this brand being derisively referred to as the ‘Cowboy Killer’. Which brand?

6 It’s known as the Qalyan in parts of the Levant, the Narguile in Spain, the Lula in Albania and the Narghilea in Romania. By what name is it known most commonly in India and in most parts of the world?

7 Which nautical word for a vertical-axled rotating machine developed for use on sailing ships to multiply the pulling force of seamen when hauling ropes, cables and hawsers lends its name to a brand of cigarettes in India?

8 Which Indian cigarette brand used the campaign ‘Made for each other’ from 1965 to 2004, when tobacco advertising was finally banned in the country?

9 Which iconic ’80s film revolves around the travails of three young men sharing a flat in Delhi and their local cigarette shop owner, Lallan Miya, who plays an important part in the plot?

10 Which actress was the model for Ms, the first brand of cigarettes specifically launched in India for women?


1 Virginia. The brand was Virginia Slims. Virginia House is the name of the ITC headquarters in Kolkata

2 The First Opium War. The British were fighting for the rights of their traders to sell opium in China, which the ruling Qing Dynasty was resisting

3 Sherlock Holmes. He was depicted using three pipes — a blackened clay, an oily briar and a Cherrywood

4 Chesterfield

5 Marlboro, specifically Marlboro Red. They all appeared as cowboys in the iconic advertisements

6 The hookah, believed to have been invented in Akbar’s court

7 Capstan

8 Wills Navy Cut, Wills Filter cigarettes

9 Chashme Buddoor

10 Deepti Naval. She was also the female protagonist in Chashme Buddoor


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster;

Twitter: @joybhattacharj