Smoking is one of the world’s greatest killers according to the American Heart Association (AHA): it increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. It’s also terribly addictive, which makes it a difficult habit to break—even for celebrities.
Read on to learn which stars have traded in their nicotine addiction for a healthier lifestyle.
Now a health enthusiast, Gwyneth Paltrow was an avid smoker in her teenage years. She smoked two packs a day and even her father’s death from cancer in 2002 didn’t dissuade her from smoking. Paltrow finally kicked the habit when she found out she was pregnant with her first daughter.
Our current president began smoking as a teenager and has discussed his addiction as a lifetime battle. ABC News reported that Obama vowed to quit in 2007. He chewed Nicorette to avoid succumbing to cravings brought on by the stresses of the presidency. He admits that his struggle with quitting is ongoing, and although he occasionally slips up, he won’t smoke in front of his family. In 2009, he passed an anti-smoking bill in an attempt to protect future generations from picking up the habit.
In talking about his cigarette addiction, Jon Stewart admitted that he used smoking to fill an emotional void. He said that smoking made him feel better and gave him a distraction from the pressures of life. Stewart eventually realized that while smoking made him feel better in the moment, it was detrimental to his health in the long run.
Like many models, Gisele used smoking as a tactic to maintain her slim figure. She quit her habit in 2003 to create a healthier life for herself and her family and has become a great role model for young women. Bundchen claims that she gained 15 pounds when she quit, but was much happier with her new, healthier body.
Catherine Zeta-Jones was photographed smoking during the last stages of her pregnancy in 2003. Smoking cigarettes while pregnant is extremely dangerous, and can cause premature birth, placental abruption, stillbirth, and many other problems for a developing fetus, according to the March of Dimes. Zeta-Jones vowed to quit for her children in 2005, but has had difficulty stopping, suffering many relapses.
Actor and husband of Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas has long struggled with an addiction to smoking. In 2011, a cancerous tumor was found in Douglas’ throat, which was most likely caused by his frequent alcohol consumption and smoking. Smoking is strongly discouraged during radiation treatment, as was reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, so Douglas made the effort to quit smoking.
The film and television star was a chain smoker for years before undergoing an extreme cleanse in 2007. Aniston attributes her success in quitting to her involvement in yoga. She exercises regularly and eats healthfully to rid her body of caffeine and nicotine.
The world-renowned uncensored chef, traveler, and food writer smoked for 38 years before quitting. When Bourdain and his wife welcomed a daughter, he could no longer smoke in his apartment. He had to walk down 11 flights of stairs to smoke outside every time he wanted a cigarette. Eventually, he realized it was harder to smoke than to quit, and finally kicked the habit in 2007.
If you have made the decision to quit, learn some important tips to make sure it’s a success. Quitting is essential not only for your own health, but for the well-being of those around you.