Famous Quotes Against Smoking

With the controversy surrounding the Great Vape Debate, it’s easy to lose sight of the bottom line: Vaping is about getting people away from cigarettes. Vaping is a smoking alternative, which has helped a huge number of our customers give up cigarettes. Tobacco has hooked some larger-than-life people, and some of history’s most colorful characters have been smokers. Some quit, and some died of smoking-related illness.

We’ve compiled some of our favorite quotes against smoking, with some context around the characters to add depth to their statements.


“Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.” -Mark Twain

[url=http://www.istockphoto.com/file_search.php?action=file&lightboxID=8929055 t=_blank][img]http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4110/4948325162_1323a54a89.jpg[/img][/url] Vintage engraving showing Mark Twain - Original edition from my own archives Source : published in "Illustrierte Chronik der Zeit" 1882 now in public domain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, started smoking in boyhood. America’s perhaps most beloved author was a famous smoker. From his youthful adventures to crumpled, wheezing on his deathbed, the cigar was part of his trademark. As he grew increasingly frail and grim in his later years, he blamed his self-described “tobacco heart” for his shortened life span. In his last years, he cut back from 40 cigars a day to 8. Twain’s droll comment about quitting thousands of times reflects his ongoing struggle to quit.


“I haven’t had a cigarette in 6 years… that’s because I’m scared of my wife.” -Barrack Obama

 (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The President of the United States was a smoker for years, though he definitely wasn’t the first smoking president. Michelle Obama, who is a staunch advocate for dieting and health, would not stand by and tacitly enable her husband to continue poisoning himself. We’re in favor of whatever motivates a smoker to quit!


“These things are killing me… Those damn cigarettes.” -Johnny Carson


The timeless face of late night comedy, Johnny Carson was a heavy smoker. Often, he smoked behind his desk during live shows. Reportedly, in his final hours, we kept chanting those damn cigarettes over and over again. There is nothing sadder than a funnyman in pain.

“Take care of the children. Tobacco will kill you, and I am living proof of it” -Wayne Mclaren, Marlboro Man.

Mr. Mclaren didn't live long enough for his daughter's visit.

Mr. Mclaren didn’t live long enough for his daughter’s visit.

Marlboro’s icon for individual freedom and the man who made filtered cigarettes look manly died of lung and throat cancer in 1992. Wayne Mclaren became a crusader against Philip Morris and Big Tobacco in his final years. He made several television and public appearances to warn about the dangers of smoking. Mr. Mclaren’s family filed lawsuits against Philip Morris.


“Get me well so I can get on television and tell people to stop smoking.” -Nat King Cole


World-class crooner and virtuoso jazz pianist Nat King Cole changed the role of African-Americans. His distinct smooth voice was silenced by an aggressive tumor that left him bedridden and miserable. Even after his lung was removed, he died at the age of 45. Who knows what music is left unheard because of cigarettes?


“The believing we do something when we do nothing is the first illusion of tobacco.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson


Emerson was a staunch individualist and the father of American Transcendentalism. His essays on philosophy changed the way Americans thought, wrote, fought, and lived. Not surprisingly, Emerson was a lifelong opponent to tobacco dependence, and brought his attitude towards tobacco into his philosophy.


“Smoking is hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, and dangerous to the lungs, and in the black, stinking fume thereof nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless.” -King James I

Vintage Woodcut Artwork James I

Though a controversial monarch, King James has a profound legacy. In addition, King James the First found smoking to be repulsive. His unwavering stance on smoking was consistent with his political absolutism. King James the First was one of the earliest anti-smoking activists on record.


“The public health authorities never mention the main reason many American have for smoking heavily, which is that smoking is a fairly sure, fairly honorable form of suicide.” -Kurt Vonnegut

He writes like a man with a mustache.

He writes like a man with a mustache.

Absurdist author Kurt Vonnegut was no stranger to suicide. He’d lost his mother to suicide on the weekend of Mother’s Day in 1944, and suffered with his own suicidal ideation for the rest of his life. Gallows humor punctuated his writing, as well as flecks of ash on his manuscripts. He’d begun smoking as a pre-teen, and had never been able to quit.


“Smoking is the leading cause of statistics.” -Fletcher Knebel


This quote resounds with us. In the vaping industry, we have our noses deep in the latest smoking and vaping research. There is enough data out there on smoking and its tragedies to depress the Dalai Lama. Author Fletcher Knebel hits the nail on the head with his quote. We urge of you, gentle reader, don’t be one of these statistics.


“Smoking helps you lose weight-one lung at a time!” -Alfred E. Neuman


Alfred E. Neuman, the fictitious mascot and cover boy of MAD magazine, brings his sinister wit to the world of smoking. Though lungs vary in weight, we can confirm that smokers lose a lot of weight in their final days of life. According to 20th century physician Duncan MacDougal, the human body loses 21 grams of weight upon death. We advocate keeping those 21 grams, even in swimsuit season.


Something to think about:
What’s the best anti-smoking quote you’ve ever heard?


You may also like our article about the positive impact of vaping on the environment!

Tim Mechling

Tim is Mt Baker Vapor's resident creative weirdo. He writes, composes music, draws, designs, produces podcasts, investigates, and blows the trumpet for the Common Man.

  • Chase says:

    Good stuff. The nicotine chart the 3.5 on vape is at what strength?

  • Mike says:

    quitting smoking is the best decision one can make

  • tony says:

    cant stand cigs now. thanks vaping lol

  • Kendell Rawls says:

    I allowed the cigarette beast to rule my life for 27 years. T.G.I.Vapeday everyday. Some of those closest to me call it a crutch. I look at it as more like an ambulance that’s here to save me.! For my present day was being phlegm man & my future was dated and unpleasant as I watched loved ones die slowly from the beast between their fingers. Kendell R. Rawls in Arkansas

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