You’ve probably seen these hoodies and wonder what they mean. Bold letters across the chest on a plain top or purple honeycombs plastered all around are particularly popular in the hip-hop community. You might be surprised to know that this is a cigar logo. However, not so many people smoke them as they are. Backwoods Smokes are so iconic because they are perfect to unwrap and make a blunt.
History of Backwoods Smokes
Back in the 50th and 60th, tobacco companies extensively used TV and radio to advertise their products. But more and more medical research proved the harm of smoking and public health concerns grew. On April 1, 1970, President Nixon enacted the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act. It required to put health warnings on cigarette packages and banned cigarette advertisements on television.
The tobacco industry did not want to lose the profits and was inventing new marketing tools to circumvent the ban and attract new customers. Backwood “little cigars” were one of such tools. TV commercials of cigars instead of cigarettes were not violating the new laws.
Backwoods Smokes were released in 1973 by Altadis USA. Their popularity skyrocketed thanks to heavy advertisement and thoughtful targeting.
Source: Wikipedia Commons
With the slogan “Wild and Mild Smokes,” Backwoods were marketed as rustic and manly. Their campaign targeted outdoorsmen with emphasis on natural and flavorful tobacco. This example of an advertisement poster says "If you ever wanted to climb Mt. Rainier, you're a natural Backwoods man". It also suggested that the climber take his Backwoods with on adventure, since they can be enjoyed anywhere unlike a usual cigar that needs a cut and doesn’t feet in a pocket.
The narrowing of the target audience worked perfectly well in the 80th. But it is the distinctive “construction” of the Backwoods that brought them popularity at the dawn of the rap culture.
Backwoods are special because they are wrapped in a natural tobacco leaf. Thanks to an open cut, they are easy to unravel, get all the insides out at once and use it as a blunt for weed. They also do not contain any additives like paper. With the moisture-proof package, they are perfect to carry around in a pocket, and when rerolled with the stuff, they are hard to distinguish from the originals. No wonder they become the most prized wrap in the hip-hop culture.
Backwoods enjoyed being a rap muse since the early 90s. With the easing of marijuana smoking rules in some states over the following decades, they saw a new spike in popularity. Famous rappers declared their preference of Backwoods, including Fetty Wap, Busta Rhymes, Travis Scott, Mac Dre and the Game. “Wonder if you're rolling up a Backwoods for someone else. Doing things I taught you, gettin' nasty for someone else,” sings Drake in his 2016 song Hotline Bling. Not only celebrities but inner-city smokers across the country also choose these cigars thanks to tons of references in hip-hop music.
Rolling Backwoods is considered both an easy task and an art. YouTube is packed with DIY tutorials starring famous rappers or other celebrities. In the age of social media, Backwoods revealed their other advantage: the outer lead is big enough to fit a week stash of weed. Instagram users are bragging about how much dope they can roll in a single wood and it goes up to eight grams. The aim is simple: the more herb you can put in one blunt, the more money you have and people love to boast about their possessions.
Another reason Backwoods have explored in popularity is the variety of flavors. Some of them are easy to find in corner stores or gas stations for 4 to 10 dollars for a pack of five. Others, like Vanilla, Banana, Grape or Wild Rum are pretty exclusive and sought out. They were banned or discounted from the US market and available only in certain countries. Therefore connoisseurs are willing to spend $40-100 for a pack of imported flavors, and the resale market is booming. A photo of rare cigar gets attention and therefore tons of likes. This is the endless chase after social media status and personal pleasure costs
2019 was successful for Backwoods also because of scarcity. A lot of tobacco companies jumped on the bandwagon of natural leaf preferences and created high demand. Moreover, a lot of agriculture areas were hit by major storms. No wonder people are willing to pay three times the price for what they are used to.
We must remember that smoking kills, so be responsible. Wearing a hoodie with the Backwoods logo, however, won’t do you any harm. On the contrary, a cool pullover will be a great addition to your style.
Where to Buy the Best Backwoods Hoodie
1. Grey Vintage Backwoods Hoodie, $20
A classic that never gets old. You can buy a hoodie of great quality from resale marketplaces like Grailed. This grey top was never worn. It has a cool retro college vibe. The quality looks awesome, and it is on sale now, so hurry up.
2. Backwoods Camo Hoodie, $60
Camouflage is one of the most popular patterns to put Backwoods logo on. This hoodie is screen-printed, made of cotton/polyester blend and is soft and comfortable inside. The seller also offers the same design in black and pink. It is available in sizes from S to XXL, the fit is rather loose. Shipping across the US takes four to five business days.
3. Honey Berry Backwoods Hoodie, $25
A 3D-printed hoodie with iconic honeycomb would be a great addition to your wardrobe if you want to stand out from the crowd. Honeyberry is one of the world’s favorite flavor of Backwoods, and this pullover is designed exactly like the cigars’ packaging. You can also find a complimenting colorful backpack or phone case plastered with purple or yellow (for honey flavor) cells.
The seller also promises fast shipping and fit as expected. However, buyers’ reviews suggest you buy at least two sizes up for a regular fit and three - for a baggy look.
4. Crop Backwoods logo hoodie, $40
This minimalist crop hoodie with an embroidered patch logo is a perfect choice for stylish ladies. Available in black and white, it is extra soft and comfortable with 50/50 cotton/polyester material. The shop has only a limited quantity of those. It also offers fast and free shipping across the United States.
5. Banana Backwoods Hoodie, $60
Banana flavor Backwoods are among the most rear ones. It is not available in the US, so inner-city smokers are willing to pay ten times the price for a pack of exclusive coveted cigars. But even if you do not smoke, you can state your involvement in the culture with this hoodie. It is handcrafted, which takes time. The sizing is unisex, the colors are vivid and do not fade, the material doesn’t shrink with washing. You can also buy a pair of matching socks.
6. Rick and Morty Backwoods Hoodie, $30
An adult sitcom about the adventures of crazy scientist Rick and his grandson Morty is a long-time favorite for many Americans, especially those who consider themselves cynical. This hoodie offers a perfect mashup for fans of the series and Backwoods Smokes. It is made of 50/50 preshrunk cotton and polyester blend, is soft inside and has a kangaroo pocket. The seller promises a flattering fit for unisex sizes from Small to 4XL. Available in different colors.
7. Backwoods Russian Cream Hoodie, $74
Russian Cream is smokers’ most favorite flavor, according to the Ranker. It is rare, obviously creamy, natural, and tastes even better rewrapped. This hoodie replicates the famous packing design. It is sold on the store that specializes in exclusive goods along with other designs for exotic Backwoods flavors. Most of them are available only in limited sizes. The material is 80% polyester 20% spandex.
Until the mid-2000s, Backwoods were only known to tobacco smokers and cigar lovers. They were easy to carry around, all-natural, and had a variety of flavors. Today they are synonymous with rolling up and smoking down. Hip-hop music and the legalization of marijuana in some states brought them to national fame and worldwide recognition. You can take your love for Backwoods to a whole new level with a hoodie. This simple, comfortable and all-purpose apparel will add to your style and emphasize your personality.