Smoking and Artistry – Why Artists Smoke

Artists may sometimes smoke as a result of the stress and compulsion which is common to true visionists. We are asking that all artists from every background, painters, writers, and photographers, to demonstrate their passion and stand together to help end tobacco abuse.

Young artist painting an autumn landscape

Artistry is the spiritual and personal voyage which leads to the expression of life, love, death, and everything in between. The understanding of which can only be assumed by those who are truly open to alternative means of visual communication. Artists are the embodiment of creative means. These individuals walk on a plane of obscurity, truth, and interpretation. Looking past the obvious is but one trait of the artist. Art being an extension of one’s soul is another. Becoming a tool the art uses to become self-aware, independent, and whole, is the crux of true artistry.

This is where sometimes even the most courageous artist may become too entrenched in the brilliance that is art – obsession and addiction. There are many artists today that smoke cigarettes. A few progressive stars use vaporizers letting technology step into their lives. Most people are fully aware of the abhorrent effects, both immediate and long-term, of smoking, however, some who have a deep relationship with art also have a relationship with stress and passion.

The Effects of Smoking

According to the CDC, smoking causes a myriad of diseases ranging from heart and respiratory disease, to lung and blood cancer. However, as so many artists become obsessed with their art form, some are then prone to suffer from the disease of addiction which stems from obsession. This addiction to nicotine makes it increasingly difficult to quit even with the help of the best vape. Especially after smoking for years.

Why Artists Smoke

Artists may smoke for many of the same reasons anyone does. However, artists may also smoke as a result of the stress and compulsion common to true artists. The depth and total commitment artists give their work sometimes leads to an obsessive behavior pattern. This is true for artists in every form, including painters, writers, and photographers. The commitment given by these forms of artistry may sometimes become a deep-rooted passion, which may then overflow into everyday life. In light of this, smoking provides a momentary relief from stress due to the properties of the nicotine.

Drawing Parallels

Since tobacco came to Europe and beyond, artists have included tobacco use with their art, forming a parallel with reality and imagination. According to Every Painter Paints Himself, “The smoker inhales nicotine from the exterior world and then blows the substance out of his body again as smoke, just as the mind of a poetic painter imports scenes from outer reality and then “exports” them again onto canvas as something else.”


We are asking that all artists from any background, including painters, writers, and photographers, to demonstrate their passion and stand together. Through the commitment displayed by those brave enough to imagine, anything is possible. Smoking kills nearly 500 thousand people every year. Another 8 million are living with incurable diseases because of smoking. The art community, which has transcended culture, race, gender, sexual orientation, space, and time, has the power of commitment and passion to help end this war against tobacco abuse. The number of smokers throughout our nation is decreasing, but the battle is far from over. We are asking for you to commit to this cause and to help others, including other artists, who are suffering from this addiction. Whether it is art that imitates life, or life that imitates art –without life, art cannot exist.

Published: July 13, 2015 Updated: February 14, 2019



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One comment on “Smoking and Artistry – Why Artists Smoke
  • Paul
    December 6, 2017 at 5:33 am

    Thank you