At the turn of 20th century smoking cigarettes did not have the same stigma it does today. Hence the entire Romanov family – including Tsarevich Alexei – smoked!
Records of this can be found throughout the imperial family’s letters and diaries, as well as photographs. Below are excerpts from the diary of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna which mention the subject of smoking.
From the 1913 diary of Olga Romanov:
“Thursday. 21 March… In the afternoon broke the ice with Papa and smoked in the garden…”
“Monday. 27 May. On the train. … After dinner [I] sat with Mama, smoked…”
“Wednesday. 29 May… Sailed in double boats, Papa kayaked. Then smoked and picked lilies-of-the-valley on the little island…”
“Saturday. 1 June… Papa had breakfast with the Hussars. Had tea with him and Mama. Had dinner with them and Silaev. Smoked afterwards…”
“Saturday. 27 July… Played cards and smoked.”
“Sunday. 15 September… We smoked and worked. Mama too…”
“Thursday. 19 September. Walked to church via the horizontal path with Papa and smoked on a bench in Livadia…”
“Saturday. 28 September… In the evening sat at Mama’s, smoked and worked…”
“Tuesday. 10 December… In the afternoon we 3, Papa and Dmitri walked on the horizontal trail, hiked up the Cross Hill and the rocks. Very fun. Smoked…”