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Kelly Ripa, Adele and 9 Other Celebrities Who Quit Smoking

author image Leah Groth
Leah Groth is a writer and editor currently based in Chicago. She has covered topics such as entertainment, parenting, health & wellness for xoJane, Babble, Radar, Fit Pregnancy, Mommy Nearest, Living Healthy and PopDust.

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Kelly Ripa, Adele and 9 Other Celebrities Who Quit Smoking
Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox both used to smoke and now have quit. Photo Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/GettyImages

Smoking may be on the decline since 2005, but, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 38 million people smoke cigarettes almost every day — despite the fact that smoking is seriously bad for your health. Celebrities are just like us when it comes to nicotine addiction: While they might have lots of money and access to the best doctors in the world, they can pick up the bad habit just as easily and subsequently have an equally difficult time quitting. Fortunately, over the years many of them have managed to quit and aren’t embarrassed to share their experience, strength and hope with the rest of the world. Here are 11 celebrities who struggled with smoking and the ways they eventually quit.

1. Cameron Diaz was motivated by her parents.
Cameron Diaz decided to ditch her smoking habit in honor of her parents. Photo Credit: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images Entertainment/GettyImages

1 Cameron Diaz was motivated by her parents.

Cameron Diaz spent her 20s and part of her 30s as an on-again, off-again smoker before she finally decided to quit in 2003. What inspired her to give it up? She wanted to make her mother and father proud. “I gave up because my parents were upset that I was smoking so much and I was setting a bad example,” she said, according to Glamour. “It preyed on my conscience. I was into roll your own, and I was killing myself.”

If you need more help than just motivation, try downloading the LIVESTRONG.COM MyQuit Coach: You can choose to quit cold turkey or gradually decrease your daily nicotine intake. It also provides a MyQuit community for support and motivation from others.

Read more: Top 11 Ways to Quit Smoking

2. Jennifer Aniston used exercise.
Jennifer Aniston’s yoga practice helped her put down the smokes. Photo Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/GettyImages

2 Jennifer Aniston used exercise.

Jennifer Aniston hasn’t always been one of Hollywood’s healthiest stars. The actress was a chain-smoker for years and had a hard time kicking the habit. Multiple outlets claim the former “Friends” star used yoga to curb her cravings. “She brought yoga into my life, and it completely changed my life,” Aniston said in the introduction to her yoga instructor Mandy Ingber’s “Yogalosophy” video. “It’s one of the most fun workouts I’ve ever had.” According to a 2009 study, exercise changes the way the brains of smokers processes information, reducing their cravings for nicotine. And since quitting smoking can slow down your metabolism and result in weight gain, indulging in some more sweat sessions can help keep you from adding number on the scale.

Listen now: Why America’s Obsession With ‘Happiness’ Is Totally Stressing Us Out

3. Drew Barrymore got hypnotized.
Drew Barrymore turned to a hypnotist to help curb her cravings. Photo Credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images Entertainment/GettyImages

3 Drew Barrymore got hypnotized.

Drew Barrymore started smoking before her 10th birthday and didn’t quit until 2001. The free-spirited star claims getting hypnotized by Yefim G. Shubentsov, dubbed “The Mad Russian,” helped her stomp out the habit for good. “It’s so cool,” she told USA Today. “Whatever it is that he does — it works.” The hypnotist to the stars apparently uses bioenergetics — a healing life force that circulates within all living things — to help his clients achieve smoke-free success. He explained that without touching his clients he “physically manipulates” the invisible energy that surrounds their bodies. He then transforms the brain back to the way it was before the addiction. While there is no scientific proof that hypnosis is a quitting method that works, the America Cancer Society acknowledges that some people say it helps.

Read more: What Happens After 15 Days of Not Smoking?

4. Courteney Cox did it with a partner.
Courteney Cox quit smoking with her then-husband, David Arquette. Photo Credit: Toby Canham/Getty Images Entertainment/GettyImages

4 Courteney Cox did it with a partner.

It takes two — to quit smoking? Courteney Cox never attempted to quit smoking on her own, but in the late ’90s the “Friends” star and her then-husband, David Arquette, traveled to Boston to see Shubentsov, the same hypnotist Drew Barrymore used. “They never tried to quit before because Cox really liked to smoke but knew it was bad for her,” their assistant Whitney Smith told USA Today in 2001. “They knew they’d both have to do it together because it is hard for one person in a relationship to quit.” While hypnosis may not be a scientifically endorsed method of quitting, according to a recent study, joining forces with a significant other will more than double your chance for smoke-free success.

5. Kelly Ripa went to a doctor and got medication.
Kelly Ripa took a prescription medication to help beat the habit. Photo Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images Entertainment/GettyImages

5 Kelly Ripa went to a doctor and got medication.

Kelly Ripa smoked for many years, quitting for six years when she was pregnant with her first child. She picked up the habit again when she received horrible reviews for a show she was starring in and became a closet smoker. When she finally decided to quit for good, she hired a trainer and started exercising. In addition, she took Wellbutrin, also called Zyban or Aplenzi, an antidepressant used as a smoking-cessation aid. “I was desperate, and I really didn’t want to die of lung cancer,” she told David Letterman. The American Cancer Society confirms that taking prescription drugs, such as Wellbutrin, are proven to help some people quit tobacco.

6. Katherine Heigl used electronic cigarettes.
Katherine Heigl smoked electronic cigarettes to help avoid the real thing. Photo Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/GettyImages

6 Katherine Heigl used electronic cigarettes.

Katherine Heigl started smoking when she was in her early 20s and struggled to quit smoking for several years, telling the Washington Post she tried everything, including the nicotine patch, nicotine gum and taking Wellbutrin (like Kelly Ripa), but none of it worked. In 2010 she revealed to Parade she was using electronic cigarettes instead. “I know it’s ridiculous, but it’s helping me not to actually smoke real cigarettes,” she said. “You feel like you are smoking, and you get to exhale, but it’s just water vapor and not nicotine.” The electronic cigarettes may have worked, because in 2017 she boasted she was smoke-free. While some research supports electronic cigarettes as a smoking-cessation tool, new research finds that they may be more harmful than beneficial — so you might want to speak with your doctor before inhaling one.

Read more: 3 Reasons Why Smoking Should Be Banned

7. Adele used her son for inspiration.
Adele needed a good reason to break up with her nicotine habit. Photo Credit: Luca V. Teuchmann/Getty Images Entertainment/GettyImages

7 Adele used her son for inspiration.

Adele used to smoke a whopping 25 cigarettes per day, but she gave up the habit because she was afraid it was going to kill her. “If I’d carried on smoking I’d probably have died from a smoking-related illness, and I think that’s really bad,” she told The Mirror. “If I was dying from lung cancer I would have potentially given it to myself, and that wouldn’t be something I’d be proud of.” However, she needed the ultimate inspiration — her son — to keep her from picking up a smoke. “I absolutely loved it, but it’s not that f**king cool when I’m dying from a smoking-related illness and my kid is, like, devastated,” she told Rolling Stone. Quitting for your kids is actually a pretty good idea — not only for your health — but for theirs as well. A 2014 study found that the longer a parent smokes, the more likely their kids are to pick up the habit later on.

8. Chelsea Handler used the Kerry Gaynor Method.
Chelsea Handler used the Kerry Gaynor Method to kick her bad habit. Photo Credit: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images Entertainment/GettyImages

8 Chelsea Handler used the Kerry Gaynor Method.

Chelsea Handler was so addicted to smoking that she once paid $500 to have a pack of cigarettes delivered to her door. She finally quit once and for all with the Kerry Gaynor Method. “I finally quit when I got hypnotized by Kerry Gaynor. Haven’t smoked one cigarette since. If you are trying to quit, look him up,” she wrote in a recent Instgram post. According to his website, Gaynor promises that just three one-hour sessions over a period of 10 days to two weeks helps 85 percent of his clients quit. The hypnotherapist offers his method in person or via online streaming or DVD. But keep in mind that the American Cancer Society doesn’t endorse hypnosis as an effective tool to quit smoking.

Read more: Chelsea Handler Quit Smoking With This Popular Hollywood Method

9. Charlize Theron also used the Kerry Gaynor Method.
Charlize Theron also turned to a celebrity hypnotist to help her quit smoking. Photo Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images Entertainment/GettyImages

9 Charlize Theron also used the Kerry Gaynor Method.

Charlize Theron struggled for years to quit smoking on her own. “I was highly addicted,” she told Vogue in 2011. “I thought, ‘I don’t smoke like normal people. I smoke to die.’” While she wouldn’t reveal the details about how she did it to the magazine because she didn’t wanted to jinx it, MSN attributed her success to the Kerry Gaynor Method. Keep it up, Charlize!

10. Ashton Kutcher read a book.
Ashton Kutcher read “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking” to quit. Photo Credit: Robert Prezioso/Getty Images Entertainment/GettyImages

10 Ashton Kutcher read a book.

Ashton Kutcher used to smoke 40 cigarettes a day, considering himself a “professional smoker,” and couldn’t stop until he discovered Allen Carr’s book, “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.” “I read this book,” he told Jay Leno. “The great thing is, while you are reading the book you get to smoke.” Carr’s method promotes smoking throughout the book, until the very end when readers are prompted to smoke their last cigarette. “I haven’t smoked since,” he revealed. While Carr’s Easyway hasn’t been endorsed by science, several celebrities, including Sir Anthony Hopkins and David Blaine, attest it was key in helping them quit.

Read more: What Are the Effects of Tobacco Smoking on the Central Nervous System?

11. Ellen DeGeneres also used the Easyway method.
Ellen DeGeneres read the same book as Kutcher to help her say goodbye to smoking. Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images Entertainment/GettyImages

11 Ellen DeGeneres also used the Easyway method.

Ellen DeGeneres also used Carr’s book to quit smoking. “I know I am done completely,” she revealed on her show. “I was really ashamed of it.” While the talk-show host admits she was just a “social smoker,” she was ready to say goodbye to cigarettes for good. “Everybody who reads the book stops, and so I stopped, and I’m so glad I quit because I had a monkey on my back,” she said.

What Do YOU Think?
Tell us what you think! Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Entertainment/GettyImages

What Do YOU Think?

Are you surprised that all these celebrities struggled with smoking? Have you tried any of these methods to quit yourself? How did you quit? Share your story in the comments!

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