No matter how much we criticize celebrities, we all have a handful of stars that we idolize. Whether it’s the unrelenting brainpower of Stephen Fry that blows your mind, the lifelong activism of Bono that inspires you to do good, or Johnny Knoxville’s disregard for personal safety that drives you to speed down a hill in a shopping trolley, celebrities have an undeniable influence on our behavior.
With that in mind, it’s understandable when stars come under fire for bad habits and poor lifestyle choices, with smoking seeming to attract more criticism than almost anything else. While some celebs seem to struggle to quit, there are plenty of beloved big names who have managed to kick the habit – here are our top four.
1. Jennifer Aniston
Best known for the ditzy, successful, Rachel in Friends, Jennifer Aniston almost managed to quit smoking back in 2007 as part of an overall ‘body detox’. Initially, the drastic (and medically risky) detox failed to completely rid her life of cigarettes – Aniston admitted to occasionally lighting up at night.
How They Quit: Yoga Exercises
What really worked for the beloved Miss Aniston was not her harsh detox but, in fact, a series of yoga workouts called Yogalosophy. Since yoga is a fantastic form of exercise and relaxation, it will have reduced her stress and helped her give up for good.
2. Whoopi Goldberg
Hollywood superstar Whoopi Goldberg’s career has involved a number of habits – both good and bad. On the one hand, she played a fake nun in Sister Act (good habit), but on the other, she has been a regular smoker for years (bad habit). Goldberg initially tried to give up smoking back in 2007, when she publicly declared that she was going to quit after being touched by an anti-smoking TV ad involving children breathing in the deadly fumes.
How They Quit: Willpower
Initially, it was Goldberg’s initial intention to rid herself of cigarettes with the help of a no-nicotine prescription drug called Zyban. But after hinting last year that she still enjoyed the occasional puff, she took to Twitter in the autumn to quit on sheer willpower and public support – so far so good!
3. Anthony Hopkins
After suffering from childhood nightmares involving Hannibal Lecter and my inability to run away due to my legs being made from wet paper, I’d be inclined to let Anthony Hopkins do whatever he likes. Fancy smoking? Go ahead! Want my wallet? It’s yours! Just don’t eat my brain.
Thankfully, it’s not up to me to convince the man who brought terror to bedtime to give up one of his vices, and Hopkins has taken it up himself to give up smoking and remain cigarette free for good.
How They Quit: ‘Stop Smoking’ Books
After successfully being cigar and cigarette free for a substantial number of years, Hopkins says he keeps his cravings for smoking at bay with the anti-smoking book The Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr. Though a part of me thinks his cigarettes refused to light out of sheer fear.
4. Barack Obama
A world-renowned bastion for coolness, equality, and political reform, Barack Obama has struggled for almost 30 years to show smoking the door. Even when that door was massive and white, after his election in 2009, he still couldn’t give up his deadly addiction.
However, just over a year ago, when being interviewed by US talk show host Jay Leno, Obama proudly admitted to having quit smoking.
How They Quit: Willpower & Nicotine Replacement
President Obama has always tried to keep his smoking habit under wraps, so other than his appearance on The Tonight Show information on how he quit has been rather scarce. He has publicly said before that his wife Michelle and his children are among his motivators for quitting, and his 2011 medical report mentioned