The harsh life of a troubled young man provides the basis of this grim French tragedy that begins when the fellow stops into a shop to buy a pack of the title cigarettes. There he meets a pretty shop girl with whom he falls in love and eventually marries. It was a foolish choice, for the two cannot get along and constantly fight. Things get worse when the husband resumes his criminal activities and gets caught. The two are about to divorce when the woman gets pregnant. The time comes for their baby to be born and while sitting in the waiting room, the husband reflects upon his past activities, which are revealed via flashback.