The life of celebrities is all about their looks. They have to make impression on people or they are not going to be famous. In the beginning of last century smoking was a part of good look: it was a habit of rich and famous, so many picked it up. Times changed, cigarettes do not make impression on people, but celebrities still choose to smoke. So, why do we keep coming across famous people with cigarettes or cigars in their mouths?
Up to recent years any “star” in Hollywood smoked and was proud of it. Everybody remembers the beautiful picture of Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” when she sits at a table holding her long cigarette holder elegantly. She made an impression of a lady that many women wanted to become. Fortunately, many of them do not know that Audrey picked up the habit and was a very heavy smoker going through two-three packs of cigarettes daily. As a result of her habit, the actress died of cancer at 63. Smoking had a negative impact on her appearance too: Audrey looked frail and old for her age.
Many celebrities started smoking because of their roles in movies: their character had to have a cigarette, so they took one and keep having them for years. For some of them it becomes a part of their image. For example, an iconic top model Kate Moss is regularly photographed with her cigarette and a lighter. Her occasional boy-friend, British rocker Pete Doherty, is also a chain smoker. He is always seen with a cigarette in his mouth, so it is hard to imagine him without one. There is a great number of other popular smokers who do not mind smoking in public. Just a few of them are Colin Farrell, Al Pacino, Bob Dylan, Heath Ledger, Britney Spears, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Aniston, Uma Thurman. While smoking they do not even realize how much they influence their fans. Young people jump into smoking just because they see one of them on TV with a cigarette.
The priorities change now, some celebrities choose to stop smoking, because they realize that nicotine has negative effect on their bodies. Their image-makers start having troubles making their skin look better, so they recommend quitting. Studies show that many heavy smokers have so called “smokers face” in older years. The process of skin aging is accelerated by about 10-15 years. Susan Sarandon, a 60-year-old actress with beautiful skin says that she used to smoke, but chose to quit doing so because she wanted to remain beautiful. At this age she can see a lot of older people whose appearance has been impacted by smoking and Susan is glad that she does not touch cigarettes for years.
But skin condition is not as big problem as some people experience. An ex-model Christy Turlington has quit smoking at 31 while being a heavy smoker from the age of 13 to 26.
She used to have a pack of cigarettes a day, but now she is diagnosed with an early stage of emphysema. Well, her situation might get better because the disease is in its early stage, but there have been a lot of celebrities who died from lung cancer caused by smoking. Yul Brynner, an actor known as Ramses in “The Ten Commandments” movie, was one of them. Before he died, Yul left a message for all people asking them to quit smoking. Unfortunately, “thanks” to smoking the world lost such wonderful people as Walt Disney (lung cancer), Bob Marley (lung cancer), Sigmund Freud (cancer of jaw), Humphrey Bogart (cancer of esophagus), T.S. Elliot (emphysema). Smoking was more important to them than their own lives.
Besides their own health modern celebrities are concerned about their children as well. Gisele Bundchen, Brazilian supermodel, said that she wanted to have a healthy baby, so she quit as soon as she found out about the upcoming baby. Ben Affleck chose to do the same when he discovered that his wife was pregnant with their first child. Catherine Zeta Jones also cares about her children. She said once, “I have to stop smoking as my kids are at the age when they are going to start asking questions.”
If there were more celebrities who wanted to avoid smoking for their own good, for their children or any other reason, the world would have fewer smokers among the fans as well.