A cigarette box, much like a cigar humidor, is a larger item often stored on desktops or coffee tables. Made of wood, metal, glass, or ceramic, a cigarette box holds a larger number of cigarettes for use by the homeowner and guests.
Typical cigarette tins in the United States of the 1920s–1930s stored 50 cigarettes. Because of this, they were sometimes referred to by the nickname "flat fifties".
Cigarette cases used to be popular with soldiers, and many World War I and World War II veterans (e.g., James Doohan) stated that cigarette cases saved their lives by stopping bullets.
In 2003 the European Union witnessed a surge in cigarette case sales, attributable to the introduction of prominent black-bordered warning labels on cigarette packs, e.g., "Smokers Die Younger", etc., by an EU directive in January 2003. Cigarette cases were a way to avoid the invasive labels (another way being various satirical stickers, with slogans such as "You could be hit by a bus tomorrow").
Due to the compactness of a cigarette case, being just small enough to conveniently fit in a pocket, they can also be used to store or conceal other small items.
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