Never understood this until I read your post. My mate was in Afghan and saw some action. Got himself some oak leaves for gallantry. When I asked how he managed, he replied, ..”I had plenty of fags mate…”
This reminds me of a conversation I had many years ago with a colleague at Eurotunnel who had the same first name and birthday as me, but has been a Warrant Officer in the Royal Marines, and served in the SBS (“We do everything the SAS can do, and walk on water”). He had referred to one of his old comrades as “a hard man”, so I asked him what, by SBS standards, counted as a “hard man”. His reply: “He once did Annapurna on a tin of fruit cake and forty Benson & Hedges”.
All the best,