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Smoking actor: 11 Celebrities Who Successfully Quit Smoking

Cigarettes on Screen: Do Actors Really Smoke in Movies

by Joy Ribot

October 29, 2019

While smoking is a terribly unhealthy habit, there’s something about it that automatically makes a person feel cool.  Especially when a character is supposed to be rebellious, famous, or just super cool. That’s why it is common to find someone playing a character description like that in the movies taking out a cigarette. The question is: Are these cigarettes smoked on movie sets actually real?

The history of smoking onset

When tobacco and cigarettes started making an appearance, one of the best ways to advertise for them was by portraying an actor or character that people would like smoking them. That way, the viewers would automatically feel the need to copy the actor or get a sense of their coolness and would resort to buying cigarettes. It was a great way for product placement to the extent that whenever a movie set needed cigarettes for their movies, they’d simply give a cigarette company a call, and they’d be sent an entire box. During this time, when you’d see an actor smoking in a movie, it meant that they were using an actual cigarette that had been sent to them.

However, the laws started to change in 1988 after a settlement agreement between cigarette companies and particular state governments. This resulted in the ban of not only the appearance of real cigarettes on screens, but also of the idea behind product placement when advertising for cigarettes. That meant that when a character needed to bring out a cigarette, it would be a fake one.

At the same time, health advocates had started to realise how unhealthy cigarettes were and started to influence more and more movies, going not only smoke-free, but also preventing the appearance of any cigarettes on screen, especially if they were rated G, PG or PG-13 to avoid the risk of the younger generation associating cigarettes with coolness and wanting to copy their idols.

What do actors smoke on the set?


Image courtesy of https://ecigarettereviewed. com/

There are many alternatives to cigarettes that look pretty much the same, but do a lot less damage when it comes to health. Highlighted to be an excellent alternative on OZ Vapour is no other than the e-cigarettes. These are great because they not only look like cigarettes and, therefore, also have the psychological factor of smoking embedded into the brain, but consist of little or no nicotine at all. They also have no tar which is one of the reasons some people are trying to avoid cigarettes altogether.

One of the best things about E-cigarettes besides having little or no nicotine is that they come in many different flavours and are an absolute, great substitute for cigarettes not only on set, but for anyone trying to quit smoking. That is because they look and feel the same way and so the habit of smoking doesn’t need to be changed, and the brain is deceived into thinking it is getting what it thinks it needs. However, while the effects of e-cigarettes are still under surveillance, it seems that it is a lot less harmful than actually smoking, making it a great transition for anyone trying to quit.

When acting, this alternative is not only great as it gives the overall impression that someone is still smoking, but also helps reduce the amount of smoke being inhaled on set when the acts have to be repeated, take after take after take. That alone used to cause so much damage to an actor’s lungs as they would literally be smoking all day just to finish a specific scene.

Herbal Cigarettes

Another alternative that is very popular when filming movies or TV shows on set, are herbal cigarettes. The best thing about them is that they are more or less an exact copy of a cigarette when it comes to appearance. However, the content is purely herbal and does not cause damage to anyone inhaling it, even if it’s for long periods of time. That means that they are not only nicotine-free, but also do not have any traces of tobacco.

Within the movie industry, herbal cigarettes have become popular on set and even come in different flavours with different components. You can choose to get a strawberry, honey, vanilla, or mint-flavored herbal cigarette. They became very useful as these herbal cigarette companies would even start making custom herbal cigarettes for any actor who had a certain allergy or was uncomfortable with a specific component found in the herbal cigarettes. There were even times that the herbal cigarettes were created with chamomile paper and tea giving the chance for actors to be smoking tea on set.


In some cases, a cigarette would just be used as a prop, herbal, or tobacco-based. You’d find an actor holding it in their hand, but sometimes not even smoking it. This used to be especially true for children who played rebellious roles.

In the movie Leon aka The Professional, actor Natalie Portman was only 12 at the time, and in order to prevent her from smoking onset, her character was only seen holding a cigarette and never inhaling it. Her parents struck a deal to ensure that Portman didn’t have to harm her health and it was decided that not only would she be seen holding a cigarette only 5 times during the course of the movie, without ever inhaling it, but also that her character would quit smoking sometime during the movie.

This was not only to prevent Portman from harming her health, but also to ensure that a positive message was being sent to children of that age who could very easily idolise Portman and follow in her footsteps. To make it seem real, a cigarette would be cut in the size necessary during different parts of the movie.

There are many times where having a cigarette in hand comes in quite handy, and especially in movies; sometimes it is essential to portray a certain image or send a specific message. That’s why it is necessary to ensure that actors who need to smoke on a regular basis on set are finding the best alternatives to prevent damaging their health.


Smoking (TV Series 2018– )

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    Actors who have successfully quit smoking

    Jon Hamm

    Jon Hamm is widely known for his role as Don Draper in Mad Men. His hero is an advertiser who sells tobacco products and, accordingly, constantly smokes. Hamm gave up the addiction back in 1995 and has maintained a healthy lifestyle ever since. During the many years of filming the series, we had to get out with the help of special herbal sticks that do not contain nicotine, which were used by all the actors. However, the consequences of smoking still made themselves felt, and in 2013, Jon Hamm had a polyp removed on his vocal cords.

    “Smoking looks glamorous in the movies, but it’s not glamorous at all, waking up in the morning and smelling like an ashtray,” says the actor.

    Jennifer Aniston

    Friends star Jennifer Aniston smoked for many years and couldn’t quit. If you believe the rumors, the addiction worsened at the time of parting with Brad Pitt (he, by the way, was also a heavy smoker). But in 2007, the actress underwent an intensive detox, which helped her get rid of nicotine and caffeine forever. In addition, Jen began to actively engage in physical activity and yoga. The actress admits that the advent of yoga completely changed her life. It is noticeable – in his 50s, Aniston looks 30.

    Paul Rudd

    Paul Rudd has more than enough energy! The Ant-Man star looks great and makes everyone around him smile. Unfortunately, behind him are not only many comedy projects and numerous nominations for well-known awards, but also a long smoking experience. However, the actor still managed to overcome the addiction. He was helped in this by the method of Carrie Gaynor, a hypnotherapy program developed in Los Angeles. Moreover, having quit himself, Paul Rudd did not stop there and helped several of his friends quit smoking. This is a real hero!

    Brad Pitt

    Brad Pitt smoked a pack of cigarettes a day since childhood and for a long time could not overcome his addiction. He first gave up the bad habit on the set of Troy, where he had to spend hours in the gym. The load was too heavy, so the actor had to quit. Unfortunately, that time it didn’t last long, and already on the set of Fight Club, he lit up again. But then Angelina Jolie appeared in Pitt’s life, who felt that her husband would set a bad example for children. As we know, in the end this marriage did not work out, and the breakup exacerbated the actor’s problems with alcohol and smoking weed. However, moving away from the divorce, Pitt reiterated that he decided to quit all addictions.

    Matt Damon

    Matt Damon and Ben Affleck started smoking in high school. Matt admits that it seemed cool to them because their favorite actors – such as James Dean and Marlon Brando – did not let go of a cigarette. However, with age, he realized that this does not bring anything but harm. Then Damon made an appointment with a hypnotherapist from Los Angeles and after three sessions he looked at everything in a new way. “He showed me that the reason you finally stop smoking is because you see what cigarettes do to you. Once you understand the consequences, you will stop thinking about smoking again, ”says the actor, believing that this applies to any addiction.

    In addition, Damon was strongly influenced by his brother, who quit smoking before having children. This inspired the actor, and he himself decided to do the same.

    Anthony Hopkins

    The star of the Hannibal trilogy, like his hero, also had a small weakness. Unlike Lector, Anthony Hopkins did not eat people, but he struggled with nicotine addiction for a long time. Although he quit many years ago, the actor admits that he sometimes gets the urge to smoke. But in such cases, instead of a cigarette, he picks up the famous book by Allen Carr “The Easy Way to Quit Smoking.” The essence of this method is that a person cannot quit because of the fear that his life will not be the same, however, it is also described as very simple and pleasant.

    Charlize Theron

    Monster and Mad Max: Fury Road star Charlize Theron tried unsuccessfully to quit smoking for years. The paparazzi now and then caught her with a cigarette in her hand. The actress really smoked a lot to cope with stress – sometimes several packs a day. However, at some point, she, like many of her colleagues, decided to resort to the method of hypnotherapy. In addition, Theron reinforced the effect by the fact that she began to lead a healthier lifestyle, including yoga and Pilates. All together helped her get rid of the habit once and for all!

    Text: Olesya Troshina

    Actors who smoke in life: list

    To read 8 min Views 27.2k. Posted by

    The Ministry of Health warns: “Smoking is harmful.” But the warnings do not work either for ordinary people or for the stars of Hollywood and Russian cinema. They are not going to give up addiction, and many of them admit that a cigarette is not part of the image, but a way to relax or be alone with yourself. We have created a photo list of actors and actresses who smoke in real life, so that viewers know chain smokers by sight.


    Kate Winslet

    • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Sense and Sensibility, The Reader, The Life of David Gale

    The actress smoked seriously and for a long time during the filming of the melodrama “Sense and Sensibility”. Her love affair with tobacco began with hand-rolled cigarettes, and later Kate switched to regular cigarettes. Winslet does not consider his smoking a reason for pride, but he is not going to quit smoking either. Coffee with a cigarette for an actress is a way to relax. She tries not to smoke in front of her children, but outside the house she almost constantly holds a cigarette in her hands.

    Mila Kunis

    • The Book of Eli, Black Swan, Bad Moms, Quiet Morning in New York

    In real life, the star actress is very fond of smoking. Colleagues on the set have to put up with it and let Mila go for a smoke break. Heavy smoker Kunis settled down a little after she had children, but she admits that she did not succeed in quitting smoking completely. She cannot imagine her day without at least a couple of smoked cigarettes.

    Keira Knightley

    • Pride and Prejudice, Doctor Zhivago, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Colette

    The famous actress Keira Knightley can be seen with a cigarette not only on the screen. Knightley does not agitate her fans to take an example from her, but she does not want to give up her addiction either. Kira admitted that she fell in love with smoking at a young age, when she was about 19 years old. She had a close and very trusting relationship with her mother. They could talk on absolutely any topic and smoke cigarettes together. Now the actress cannot imagine the filming process without the opportunity to go out for a short smoke break between takes.

    Catherine Zeta-Jones

    • Terminal, The Mask of Zorro, Ocean’s Twelve, RED 2

    Paparazzi caught Katherine in their lens more than once with a cigarette in her hand. The Oscar-winning star does not deny that she has been smoking for many years, and smoking brings her pleasure. In addition, the wife of Michael Douglas admits that it is customary in their family to talk about the events of the past day in the evening during a joint smoke break.

    Daniel Radcliffe

    • All parts of the Harry Potter fantasy franchise, Wonderworkers, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead, Horns

    Daniel does not hide his addiction. The actor does not like cigars and cigarettes – he prefers homemade cigarettes. In addition, Radcliffe pays great attention to the quality of the tobacco used. Daniel said in an interview that he does not use American rolled tobacco because it is too dry. The actor specifically buys filling for British-made cigarettes. Radcliffe admits that despite being a heavy smoker, he often loses lighters, and therefore asks for a light on the street. Passers-by, perceiving him exclusively as Harry Potter, for some reason are very embarrassed.

    Angelina Jolie

    • Gia, Interrupted Life. “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”, “Gone in 60 Seconds”

    Angelina, like many teenagers, smoked at a young age. But she really became addicted to nicotine when she was married to another heavy smoker, Billy Bob Thornton. The actress tried several times to quit smoking, but in vain. Now she tries to limit the number of cigarettes she smokes and not to smoke in front of her children.

    Robert Pattinson

    • Water for Elephants, Echoes of the Past, The Lighthouse, Diary of a Bad Mother

    Twilight star Robert Pattinson can’t be called an adherent of a healthy lifestyle either. He loves to have a drink, and smoking is an integral part of his pastime. Robert says that his immediate plans do not include the fight against smoking – he feels comfortable and does not feel that cigarettes are somehow detrimental to his health and appearance.

    Uma Thurman

    • The House That Jack Built, Nymphomaniac, Kill Bill, Gattaca

    Cigarettes for the muse of Quentin Tarantino have long been not only a part of the screen image, but also an element of real life. Perhaps that is why the actress looks so harmonious on the screen with a cigarette. Thurman does not hide the fact that he smokes a huge number of cigarettes per day. This is confirmed by numerous photographs of the actress, who is constantly caught smoking while walking or going out for a smoke break with a cup of coffee in one of the hotels.

    Kate Beckinsale

    • Van Helsing, Pearl Harbor, Underworld, Nothing but the Truth

    Kate does not consider her bad habit to be something out of the ordinary. She does not hide from photojournalists and openly answers journalists’ questions – yes, she likes to smoke. Beckinsale admits that those few minutes that it takes to smoke one cigarette help her relax and just be alone with herself.

    Johnny Depp

    • Edward Scissorhands, Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Cocaine

    The favorite of millions of women around the world, Johnny Depp became addicted to cigarettes at the age of twelve. Now the actor is well over fifty, and his love for nicotine has not weakened. He never tried to quit, and the eternal cigarette in his hand became an integral part of the actor’s image.

    Kate Hudson

    • Key to All Doors, Almost Famous, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Four Feathers

    Added to the list of smoking actors in Hollywood and Russia is another actress who does not require special introductions. Hudson eats right, practices yoga and leads a healthy lifestyle. Only smoking breaks this ideal picture. The thing is that Kate has repeatedly tried to quit smoking, but admits that she does not succeed, although she has already tried many ways in the fight against addiction.

    Cameron Diaz

    • Cutie, Mask, New York Gangs, Exchange Vacation

    In numerous interviews, Cameron admitted that smoking gives her great pleasure. She compared her habit to women’s shopping in terms of enjoyment and claimed that she would never quit. Now the actress carefully hides her life, so it’s impossible to know for sure whether Cameron fulfilled her loud promise, or whether the birth of her long-awaited daughter made Diaz quit smoking.

    Sienna Miller

    • The Loudest Voice, Casanova, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, I Seduced Andy Warhol

    Another Hollywood celebrity is not going to fight her bad habit, and it’s Sienna Miller. In real life, she smokes no less than on the screen. One might even say – much more than her on-screen heroines. For a while, Miller preferred the pipe, but Sienna soon realized that she liked regular cigarettes much more.

    Eva Longoria

    • Desperate Housewives, Bride of the Dead, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Devious Maids

    The Desperate Housewives star can easily be called a heavy smoker. The media repeatedly got photos of Longoria walking with a cigarette in his hand. The short period for which the actress decided to give up her addiction was pregnancy, after which Eva returned to cigarettes.

    Mikhail Boyarsky

    • D’Artagnan and the Three Musketeers, The Dog in the Manger, The Elder Son, The Man from the Boulevard des Capucines

    Mikhail Boyarsky is perhaps one of the most famous smokers of Russian cinema. D’Artagnan of all times and peoples is not at all embarrassed by his habit. He has been smoking for many years and is trying to defend not only his right to smoke, but also the rights of the smoking population of the country. He leads the movement against the infringement of the rights of smokers, participates in various actions and travels to various conventions dedicated to smokers and their rights.

    Anna Samokhina

    • “Prisoner of If Castle”, “Don Cesar de Bazan”, “Tartuffe”, “Russian Transit”

    All her life the famous Soviet and Russian actress struggled with her love for cigarettes. However, Samokhina could not quit smoking until her death. Anna died at the age of 47 from cancer.