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Smoking Is Cool

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Remember, kids: Smoke, and you too can
be this badass.

"There were guns in Out of the Past, but the real hostility came when Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas smoked at each other."
Roger Ebert on 200 Cigarettes

If you're badass, you smoke. (Unfiltered, you sissy!)

For some reason, smoking is used as a shorthand in fiction to say that someone is a badass. It probably has its roots in '50s rebel flicks, or '40s Film Noir, or maybe the somewhat deeper idea that someone who cares nothing about their health will willingly expose themselves to pain on a regular basis, or maybe the play of smoke on the screen around a character in slow-mo is just that damn cool — but whatever it is, there's no denying that nine times out of ten a fictional smoker is a badass. No childlike or upbeat characters ever smoke. The smoker is the Anti-Hero, the Badass Normal, or the Deadpan Snarker, whereas the non-smoker is the Genki Girl, Messianic Archetype, the Kid Hero.

And you can forget about the millions of ways cigarettes can kill you or make your life miserable. Fictitious smokers are hardly ever affected by so much as a smoker's cough, let alone shortness of breath, lung cancer, gum disease, or heart disease. No-one else minds, either — the only people who complain are going to be the naggy Side Kick, the joy-killing bureaucrat, or the irritating little brat who tags along just outside the lower boundary of the Competence Zone, and they'll give the hero a good chance to sarcastically brush them off and show how cool and viciously witty they are.

There may be a pragmatic element to this trope, given the predicted lifespans of most people in badass professions. The prospect of dying of lung cancer in twenty years loses much of its sting when there's a real chance of dying of high-velocity lead poisoning tomorrow. This is one of the reasons smoking is still popular in high-risk professions, like the military, or convenience store cashiers. Not to mention that nicotine has a (short-term)note  positive effect on anxiety and stress; two major issues that come up in high-risk professions.

While this trope is dying away as smoking becomes less socially acceptable, it's notable enough in older media. Interestingly, shows aimed at younger audiences don't seem allowed to smoke. Since smoking in Japan hardly even raises an eyebrow (that culture has smoking strongly associated with hard work, among other things), this trope is also common in anime and manga.

In older media from before the Surgeon General's report on tobacco use, smoking conveyed maturity, experience, and social acceptability. The "Stop Having Fun" Guys character in an old movie or TV show will almost always be a non-smoker, as will be the male Neat Freak and Ambiguously Gay and the female Maiden Aunt, Purity Sue, and Straw Feminist. Basically, the non-smoker was thought to be no fun at all, and (unless they're a youngish Purity Sue) socially transgressive in some way. The message was that most non-smokers were weirdos you didn't want to know, which might be part of the reason why people of that generation refused to believe the Surgeon General for so long. It seems like a classic case of Do Not Do This Cool Thing.

As a side note, much like Drink-Based Characterization, the actual forms of tobacco smoked seem to fall into tropes of their own. Cigarettes are smoked by the typical cool badasses. Pipes are smoked by wizened ancient old wizards and martial artists. Cigars, if they're not being smoked by Da Chief or a soldier, are typically the favored form of tobacco for gangsters and Corrupt Corporate Executives.

At one time pipes looked more "intellectual" than cigarettes, so a professor or scientist, even quite a young one, would smoke a pipe, while policemen, soldiers and other men of action smoked cigarettes. Nowadays pipes usually denote old codgers or homages to Sherlock Holmes.note 

Smoking fetish fiction has its own conventions, subdivided down to brand. Generally speaking, housewives and other prole heroines smoke Virginia Slims or Marlboro Lights. Career women smoke Mores. Black women smoke cheap cigars, such as Swisher Sweets, Backwoods or Black and Milds (this is Truth in Television); "street smart" white women do the same. Older women smoke unfiltereds, usually Pall Malls or Camels. Black men go for Kools. The Vamp uses a holder, which is often campily long, or smokes a cigar for the Freudian connotations. Goths, Byronic Romantics and bohemian types wouldn't be caught dead smoking anything but clove cigarettes. People in the "ghetto" go for Newport menthols. The Troubled, but Cute will inevitably smoke Lucky Strike.

Compare Stealth Cigarette Commercial, Smoking Is Glamorous, and Cigar Chomper. See also Good Smoking, Evil Smoking. Contrast Smoking Is Not Cool, Cigarette of Anxiety.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.: Main character Jean Otus is known as "Jean the Cigarette Peddler", and smoking is considered his trademark. Played with in that tobacco is very rare in this setting, and it does make him stand out. And when he does offer them to other characters, several - notably Chief Officer Lilium - refuse.
  • Stylized smoking is especially prominent in Afro Samurai, in which characters' rolled cigarettes can conjure fountains of smoke. Between Afro and Justice, enough smoke is blown out of their noses over the five-episode first season to smother a small town and then some. And it looks badass.
  • Several characters from Akagi seem to be chain smokers, including the undoubtedly cool, demoniacally talented titular character. Of course, this is a series that consists entirely of professional gamblers, gangsters, conmen, thugs and crooked cops, so the constant smoking is hardly out of place.
  • Kira Sakuya & Kato Yue from Angel Sanctuary. True to the trope, their friend & the Messianic Archetype Setsuna Mudo is the only non-smoker of the delinquent trio.
  • Prominent in Baccano!, which is set in 1930s America, so obviously, Everybody Smokes. Subverted, however, when Elmer startles Ronnie into swallowing his cigarette and he ends up hacking his lungs out for a good few minutes. Not very cool.
  • Masa the charismatic leader of the street orphans from Barefoot Gen 2 always has a cigarette in his mouth, the younger impressionable Ryuta begins imitating him by smoking discarded cigarettes.
  • Black Butler: Is Bardroy ever seen without a cigarette in his mouth?
  • Sven in Black Cat is a heavy smoker. In the dub, he has a slightly gravelly voice.
  • Yami in Black Clover can usually be seen with a cigarette in his mouth and is easily one of the most popular supporting characters for being a powerful magic swordsman who wields Dark Magic.
  • Black Lagoon tries very hard to be cool, to the point where it's ambiguous whether it's a parody or not - and nearly the entire cast seems to chain-smoke as a result. It's notable in that the most intimate moment shared by the leads is an Indirect Kiss where the heroine chains her cigarette off the hero's.
    • Really, smoking is presented as something that everyone in Roanapur simply does. It's like the sixties, it's just kind of weird not to smoke. This is probably because Roanapur is such a high-risk location that lung cancer is the least of anyone's worries. That said, the shot at the beginning of the theme song of the cigarette burning down really fast was probably taking it a bit far.
    • Also somewhat notable is that while most everybody else smokes cigarettes, Balalaika prefers a good cigar.
  • Bleach:
    • Captain-class Isshin Kurosaki is an ex-smoker who still smokes a cigarette every year in front of his wife's grave on the anniversary of her death because she once told him it made him look cool.
    • Isshin's equal, Ryuuken Ishida has once been seen smoking two cigarettes on the trot, after completing a nerve-wracking procedure to restore his son's lost power without killing his son in the process. The anime includes a comedy filler scene at the end of the episode to have Isshin notice with horror that Ryuuken's breaking his own rules by smoking inside his own hospital.
    • Kisuke Urahara is hinted to be a pipe smoker, given the Chapter 36 cover artwork that shows him in a Rule of Cool pose, openly smoking as he gazes unfathomably off the page.
  • Akio from CLANNAD always has a cigarette sticking out of his mouth, though a great shock causes it to fall out on one occasion. Also, in episode 16 of ~After Story~, he notably starts to shake one from the pack to light up . . . and then thinks better of it, because his daughter is in labor in the next room. Then when Akio's daughter dies from said labor, her husband, Tomoya also picks up on the smoking habit, but it's deconstructed, as it shows how screwed up he is over Nagisa's death. Tomoya eventually quits smoking; Akio comments that this was a wise decision, but continues the habit himself.
  • Rakshata, the genius weapons developer of Code Geass, is never seen without her extremely long pipe in hand.
  • The entire main cast of Cowboy Bebop, a bunch of bounty hunters, smoke heavily. In their line of work, life expectancy isn't exactly high enough to worry about lung cancer. Well, Ed the Playful Hacker doesn't, because she's a kid. And Ein doesn't, because he's a dog. In one episode another young girl is on board their ship, and the smoke bothers her, so Jet unilaterally declares a no-smoking zone until she leaves. Ed must have tougher lungs (after all, she's been living on Earth).
  • D.Gray-Man: Tyki Mikk is constantly smoking.
  • Usahara from Damekko Doubutsu is a chain-smoking rabbit and is very aggressive around various animals. It's never brought up why he started in the first place.
  • Interestingly subverted in Darker than Black. Contractor November 11 has to smoke after every time he uses his powers... which wouldn't be so bad if he didn't hate smoking and smokers. It's somewhat jarring watching someone freeze some guys in the most badass manner possible and then cough like a child right after nonchalantly smoking a cigarette. In his first appearance, he also gives a very long and very specific address on the dangers of second-hand smoke.
    • A more straightforward subversion is Clueless Detective Guy Kurasawa, who smokes because he thinks it looks cool and is yelled at by his Sassy Secretary because she says it makes him smell even worse than he already did.
    • Subverted again, more subtly. Before Huang decides to go out in one of the most badass ways possible, he asks Hei to light his cigarette. Hei initially seems to comply but destroys the cigarette, admonishing Huang on his bad habit and forcing him to be a badass without relying on smoking.
  • Also subverted in Deadman Wonderland with Senji; he's definitely one of the most badass characters in the series, but he claims that cigarettes are "the nails of coffins".
  • Takashi Ichinomiya from Dear Brother smokes on a regular basis. "Lady Vampanella" Hoshino also does it, but she does it when she's not in school.
  • In Death Note, Matt has a cigarette in his mouth (literally) right up to the end. He is shown conspicuously lighting a cigarette that would turn out to be his last while driving a classic car into battle.
  • The titular character of The Demon Ororon is a smoker, and has been for at least 113 years. (He's 123.) One of his abilities as an invincible is to make a demon several times larger than himself explode—by touching it with one finger. It is interesting to note that while he is the the king of Hell itself, no other demons are shown to smoke quite as regularly as he does.
  • In Dogs: Bullets & Carnage, Badou Nails is a chain smoker. It's shown that he's a goofy, clumsy, laid-back, and terminally unlucky but fairly nice guy with something of a cowardly streak when he has his smokes, but if he goes without one for more than a few moments, he becomes an unstoppable killing machine, to the point where his "friend" Heine will intentionally take his cigarettes away from him when a fight's coming up.
  • Heiwajima Shizuo of Durarara!! almost always has a cigarette in his mouth, and makes a point of throwing it to the ground and stomping on it every time he gets ready to beat the ever loving shit out of somebody.
  • Fujisawa-sensei from El-Hazard: The Magnificent World chain smokes. It isn't treated as cool though, as it actually hinders his powers. Like the rest of the cast that crossed over to Roshtaria, Fujisawa-sensei is granted a specific power: superhuman strength that draws from his withdrawal from cigarettes (although it's also from alcohol withdrawal since he is also a heavy drinker).
  • Fate/Zero has Kiritsugu Emiya, smokes, and temporarily stopped for 9 years in regard to his wife and child, but picks up the habit again during the start of the Holy Grail War.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Jean Havoc constantly has a cigarette in his mouth. Serial Killer Barry the Chopper even calls him "nicotine dude".
    • Pinako also smokes a pipe. She even had it back in the photo of her and Hohenheim.
  • Future GPX Cyber Formula has Bleed Kaga, a funny guy who picks up the smoking habit as he stops being a partly comedic relief and turns all serious and badass in the last 3 OVA sequels.
  • Saki of Genshiken is a Deadpan Snarker example. Notably, after accidentally committing arson, she gives it up from trauma (at least temporarily).
  • Ban Midou from Get Backers whenever he's doing something calm and collectedly (and most of all, looking like a badass).
  • Hijikata from Gintama smokes all the time. There's a small, one-off arc in which Sougo, his mortal frenemy, successfully lobbies for a universal smoke ban in Edo which forces Hijikata to travel across planets to find somewhere he can finally smoke, only to give up in the end. Tsukuyo, who is portrayed as a cool, bad-ass and sexy [[tsundere]], also smokes with a kiseru (Japanese pipe) all the time. Ginpachi-sensei, an alternate universe version of the protagonist Gintoki is also shown to smoke in class in front of his students; it is revealed that he is actually sucking on a huge-ass lollipop in the anime, almost certainly for TV censorship.
  • Yuki Eiri (or Uesegi Yuki) from Gravitation He's pretty much the resident badass in the series (having been known to beat up plenty of people before when they mess with Shuichi) and smokes like a fiend. There was even one scene when he lit an ENTIRE pack of cigarettes at once and smoked the whole thing because he was irritated. He was actually half asleep (irritated because Shuichi wouldn't shut up and let him sleep) and it was just a funny gag. He didn't even take the cigarettes out of the pack- the last panel of that scene shows a blaze going up from his ash tray (again, as a one-off gag, so no actual harm was done).
  • Great Pretender:
  • Onizuka in Great Teacher Onizuka is almost always seen smoking unless he's in the middle of teaching a class. Kikuchi, one of the "coolest" students, also smokes.
  • Bunji in Gungrave is almost always seen smoking, in both the anime and games.
  • Subverted with Reki from Haibane Renmei. She's the cool, aloof Team Mom to the younger Haibane as well as the Cool Big Sis to Rakka. Reki is often seen smoking. At first it seems she's this, however, it turns out that it's because she's not as content as she appears.
  • In one chapter of The Hating Girl, Asumi starts to think this after seeing some delinquents smoking, finding out that her friend Ryouji has the occasional cigarette, and trying one herself. This leads her to start trying to act like a delinquent, but it gets out of hand when she's confronted by the real thing. By the end of the chapter, both she and Ryouji have sworn off cigarettes.
  • Integra from Hellsing smokes cigarillos, because she's badass like that.
    • Heinkel of the same series smokes cigarettes and an encounter between two where Integral asks her for a light is one the funniest moments in the series.
    • Captain Bernadotte is also smoking most of the time he is on screen. Even when he's a disembodied spirit residing inside Seras Victoria after she drank his blood.
    • In the Prequel, Hellsing: The Dawn, Alucard takes a moment to himself to have a cigarette with his living coffin... the coffin also has a smoke with the vampire.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
    • The Netherlands is a badass male Tsundere who smokes in a pretty stylish pipe.
    • Cuba, of course, has his famous Cuban cigars.
  • In Hidamari Sketch, the heavy smoking of the girls' landlady is generally depicted as something cool, despite her efforts to quit.
  • The reporter Yoshizawa in The Idolmaster seems to always have a cigarette on his lips.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • In Part 2, after Caesar's death, Lisa Lisa tries this, taking out a cigarette to make herself look cool and calm... until she's told that it's in her mouth upside down, showing that she was just trying to cover up how close she was to breaking down into tears.
    • Jotaro Kujo from Part 3 will sometimes smoke cigarettes, fueling his image as a rougher, grittier JoJo. At one point, he uses his cigarette as part of a bluff to Spot the Imposter, and in another instance he uses Star Platinum's Super Speed to light up faster than his opponent can see in order to intimidate him. Considering that he's a delinquent in the year 1987, his smoking isn't really out of place.
    • In Part 7, an enemy stand user makes smoking even cooler by making the smoke explosive.
  • Ken Akamatsu seems rather fond of this trope. Between Love Hina and Negima! Magister Negi Magi, there's a total of three cool mid-thirty-somethings distinguished by chain-smoking permanent chin stubble, and being at least one main character's role model/love interest because they're so damn badass. The Harem Nanny in Love Hina smokes, as well, although she isn't as much of a badass mentor figure.
    • Subverted in Negima by Chamo, who is not badass in the least, although he is The Strategist on occasion. Also, he's an ermine.
  • Subverted also Kimagure Orange Road, when Kyousuke loudly lectures Madoka and tells her pretty much the same that Mikihisa did to Hao's follower when he catches her smoking. She slaps him but later quits.
  • Soubi Agatsuma from Loveless is a sexy badass who smokes. Granted, this is probably to make him seem even more adult compared to his shotacon cat-boy love interest, Ritsuka. Also, Ritsuka comments more than once that he really dislikes Soubi's smoking habit.
  • Aoi Reiji from Love Mode more often than not, has a cigarette at work and at home, the exception being the hospital when he broke ribs after a car accident. Looks badass enough in a double-breasted suit, too.
  • The cast of Lupin III has various favorite brands of smokes, hinting at a part of their personality:
    • Lupin III smokes primarily Gitanes Caporal, a French brand of cigarettes that would typically have to be imported to Japan, hinting at his penchant for doing the impossible and taking what he wants no matter what;
    • Jigen primarily smokes Pall Mall (Longs), but has also smoked Marlboro Red (boxed) and occasionally a briar pipe, with his cigarettes being infamously bent. It all hint at him being a former mob enforcer.
    • Fujiko likes More Menthol, the most expensive cigarettes in the world bar none, and occasionally uses a cigarette holder, all appropriate for a luxury-loving Femme Fatale.
    • Zenigata prefers Shinsei, the only Japanese brand in the group, hinting (to Japanese) at him being the quintessential Japanese cop.
    • Goemon, being a samurai and occasionally seeking enlightenment, doesn't smoke.
    • Notably averted, and with good reasons, with the new important characters in Lupin III: The Italian Adventure: Rebecca Rossellini is from San Marino, Nix is British and Robson is either British or American and between that and them spending most of their time in Italy they would have the typical European attitude toward smoking, while Leonardo Da Vinci doesn't smoke because his mind is from before tobacco even came to Europe.
  • Michiko Malandro from Michiko & Hatchin has the "looking-awesome-with-a-cigarette" shtick down pat.
  • Magi: Labyrinth of Magic: Cassim and several of his cohorts in the Fog Troupe smoke almost all the time, fitting with their status as career criminals and bad eggs. Alibaba tries, but keeps breaking into coughs and looking silly.
  • Lyle Dylandy in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (although only once and in the second opening).
  • Char Aznable in Mobile Suit Gundam, specifically the manga The Origin. Char is shown smoking AND drinking.
  • Kou from Monochrome Factor is one of the [physically] strongest characters of the cast and is usually seen smoking.
  • Zelik and Jim from Mother Keeper are both shown smoking cigarettes constantly. Jim is the amazing scientist in charge of Heaven's Tower who builds cyborgs and Zelik is the strongest man in the slums who can near destroy a wall in a single punch.
  • Mushishi: Let's admit it: Ginko wouldn't be nearly as cool without the constant drags from his cigarette. His smoking is justified, partially, in that the smoke from his cigarettes is used to drive away nearby Mushi and counteract his inherent ability to attract them.
  • Several characters in NANA, but the award for coolest smoker ever goes to Yasu.
  • Asuma Sarutobi in Naruto is quite famous for his smoking habit. His pupil Shikamaru started smoking as well, after Asuma's death, even though he hated it. Not like he wasn't badass before, but to get revenge on Asuma's murderer he took another level in badass, finally burying an immortal opponent alive and cut in pieces.
    • Asuma's death provoked both the smoking and the reckless badassery, which makes this a Justified Trope. Notably, Shikamaru hasn't lit up again since achieving his revenge on Asuma's killer, with Asuma's lighter used to strike the final blow.
  • Sanji of One Piece takes up smoking at the tender age of nine in an admitted attempt to seem grown-up and cool. Ten years later, he still has the lung capacity to be the designated rescue-the-captain-from-drowning-underwater guy, and the refined palate to be a Supreme Chef, despite Zeff's warnings about smoking ruining one's palate
    • Smoker the White Hunter of the Marines habitually smokes two cigars at once, but he at least has the excuse of possessing the power to turn into and/or eject smoke, meaning that he can probably absorb cigar smoke with no ill effects. Though perhaps the very fact that his badass power IS smoking, is intended to be a nod to this trope. His voice in the French dub, however, makes it clear that smoking is bad for you.
    • Ben Beckman, Shanks' first mate on the Red-Haired pirate crew, smokes cigarillos, and at one point early in the series, he grinds out his smoke in an attacker's eyeball before bashing him over the head with a rifle, making Ben a badass smoker if there has been even one.
    • Hina the Black Cage, a badass Marine captain and a friend of the aforementioned Smoker, also smokes. Unlike with Smoker and many other smoking characters, however, no specific attention is ever drawn to her cigarette. It's just there, and sometimes it isn't.
    • Crocodile is almost always seen smoking a cigar, he's even seen smoking one after escaping from his cell in Impel Down after all his possessions were taken away. Makes you wonder where he hid them.
    • Also Paulie, who is almost never seen without a cigar, though he does break the cigar-symbolism and just goes for regular badass instead of a gang/corporate one.
    • Curly Dadan was seen smoking in Luffy's flashback, a habit continued into the present.
    • And of course there's Captain Capone "Gang" Bege; a cigar-smoker, as part of his gangster motif.
    • Donquixote Rocinante/Corazon smokes cigarettes. Unfortunately for him, he is extremely clumsy, to the point that it's become a Running Gag for him to accidentally light himself on fire while trying to light his cigarette.
    • Admiral Akainu/Sakazuki now smokes cigars after becoming a Fleet Admiral.
  • Fee from Planetes is a die-hard smoker and one of the not so minor plot points revolves around her going awesomely apeshit when terrorists start interfering with her smoking habit. Remember kids: smoke and you too can kick terrorist ass. It also makes a point to show how hard it is to smoke when you live in space and the lengths to which the stations engineers had to go to allow it. Too bad neither Makoto Yukimura nor Goro Taniguchi ever read Spider Robinson's Stardance. Only Obstructive Bureaucrats need to lock smokers in airtight rooms. All you really need is a wrist-worn scrubber fan to draw away the smoke.
  • Gokudera Hayato of Reborn! (2004) is (at least in the manga) a delinquent who smokes even on school grounds, and uses his cigarettes to light up his dynamite sticks.
  • The Bus Driver from Rosario + Vampire is never seen without a cigar. It's not clear how badass he actually is, but the fandom generally sees him as an Almighty Janitor.
  • Saitou Hajime from Rurouni Kenshin most definitely counts.
  • In Saiyuki, Gojyo and Sanzo both smoke like chimneys (Sanzo goes from only occasionally being shown with a cigarette early in the manga to his current near-chain smoker status. Gojyo has consistently chain smoked). For Sanzo, it's revealed that he got into smoking at the encouragement of a monk who gave his life to protect him when he was a teenager, and helped him come to terms with having to kill to survive. Interestingly, in the Gaiden manga/anime arc, it's revealed that in their past lives as Gods, Sanzo didn't smoke at all, but Team Mom Hakkai was a chain smoker who would remark fondly on his love of cigarettes. Sanzo's increased use of cigarettes can probably be attributed to the stress of the journey... and company.
  • Over 80% of the cast in Samurai Deeper Kyo is seen with a smoking pipe. However, the award for coolest smoking badass go to Bontenmaru and Demon Eyes Kyo
  • Subverted in a manga chapter in Shaman King. When a group of pseudo-witch girls, working for Hao attacks Yoh's father, the first thing he does when they meet each other is put out the leader's cigarette, telling her that smoking will be bad for her if she ever decides to have kids.
  • Doctor Stein from Soul Eater. Takes on a less-than-cool aspect when it turns out he's trying to avoid cigarettes in an attempt to resist his own insanity. He reasons to Spirit that he if he can't handle one, he won't be able to deal with the other. And now he's started again. So, back with the cool presumably. Because... Stein is badass.
  • Both The Hero and the Big Bad in Speed Grapher smoke pretty constantly. Saiga the war photographer smokes the workin' Joe regular cigarettes, which Suitengu smokes long and delicate cigarettes rolled from 10k yen notes.
  • Subverted twice in Strawberry Marshmallow. Tsumugi, the landlady, is often trying (and failing) to stop smoking. Moreover, Nobue gets berated a lot for smoking by her little sister and neighbor girl. Especially since, in the manga series, she's 16, and would be too young to smoke in America, never mind Japan. (The anime adaptation made her 20, and thus old enough.) She apparently started in junior high, though she held it without smoking it before then.
  • Elizabeth Beurling in Strike Witches is the avid smoker of her team. The thing is, her real-life inspiration George Beurling was a staunch anti-smoker. Yet this girl goes through a cig (or fag in British slang) commonly.
  • Seishirou Sakurazuka from Tokyo Babylon and X/1999. Smoking does help play a part in some of his onmyojitsu spells, but he also lights up for that badass-routine drag. Subverted later: Subaru Sumeragi also picks it up in simple imitation, but everybody pesters him about it. Seishirou himself included.
  • Toriko often smokes a cigar that's actually a tree branch. And he lights it by snapping his fingers.
  • Nicholas D. Wolfwood from Trigun. Who in the manga is no older than eighteen and more probably about sixteen, despite his looks. But as with many examples on this page, he knew he was never going to live long enough to worry about lung cancer.
  • Borgoff Marcus from Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust perpetually has a cigar in his mouth. Which is strange, as he never seemed to actually smoke it.
  • Lucia from Venus Versus Virus smokes, though only once in the anime. She's a badass gothic lolita, fifteen year old girl wielding a gun at all times, has one golden glowing eye and has quite the friendship with her best friend. And she smokes! Bonus points! However, she quits eventually.
  • Kubota in Wild Adapter has a cigarette in his mouth most of the time. Weirdly, it doesn't always seem to be lit. This could be an artifact of the art style.
  • Yuuko Ichihara from xxxHOLiC loves relaxing with a bottle of sake and her pipe and when Watanuki resolves to take over the store until she returns, he dons her robe and takes up her pipe.
  • Yotsuba&!: Yotsuba asks Torako why she smokes. Torako replies: "It makes me look cool."
  • YuYu Hakusho:
    • In the manga smoking is one of Yusuke's delinquent habits.
    • Shizuru Kuwabara even puts her cigarette out on an apparition's tongue to shut him up.

    Comic Books 
  • The Pogs from Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire are probably the least badass race of science fiction history. They are a race of small lizard-likes who are allied with the humans, doing all the odd jobs we find too mundane or monotonous, but still need to be done by a sentient. Smoking even makes them look badass.
  • Constantine from Hellblazer and the movie of the same name subverts this — badass or not, he still gets lung cancer. Of course, he's still badass enough to find a way not to die of it, either. However, in the movie at least, the experience is enough to get him to quit. In the comics, Constantine went back to smoking pretty much instantly and never stopped.
  • Marvel Comics:
    • Wolverine is well known for smoking cigars. It was once explained that because of his Healing Factor, he can smoke them without any damage. When he temporarily lost it, he couldn't smoke. The first time he lit up a cigar while his healing factor was on the fritz, he started hacking uncontrollably.
    • Gambit used to smoke (and wear a longcoat, too).
    • Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the most Badass Normal in the Marvel Universe also smokes cigars. It was a Running Gag for a while that his connections meant he could get Cubansnote , which he shared with Wolverine.
    • In Fantastic Four, Benjamin Grimm, the working-class morose Big Guy, likes his cigars, while Reed Richards, the upper-class academic Smart Guy, likes his pipe - or at least used to, back when they started.
    • However, Joe Quesada imposed a No Smoking policy when he became editor-in-chief.
    • J. Jonah Jameson, anyone? (Actually, fans may find that cool, but the other characters think that's the worst trait he has.)
    • Before they made that movie about him, the original Howard the Duck was known for looking cool while smoking cigars.
  • Several characters from Preacher by Garth Ennis, most notably the titular character and his girlfriend, often with the former's signature lighter.
  • And while we're on the subject of Ennis, he takes this trope to the extreme with ALL of his characters. Hitman is another example; it's a comic about a badass hitman (Duh) who kills people and looks cool while doing it by smoking cigarettes. It should also be pointed out that the aforementioned Constantine and Nick Fury got their reputations of being badass smokers while under Ennis' pen. Nick Fury showed up repeatedly in the Ennis-written Punisher MAX, always with a cigar in his mouth - in spite of Quesada's smoking ban. Whenever a character asked Fury to stop smoking he would have a very clever reply, like "Run along now, sonny boy" or "Son, you just made my day." And then he'd continue puffing away as though nothing had happened.
  • Characters in Viz often smoke "tabs" or "fags" (cigarettes). They probably think this is cool, but it is part of the business of casting them as working-class chavs.
  • In The DCU, Batman's ally Commissioner Gordon was seen smoking at least once per issue, especially after Frank Miller's big '80s stories. A heart scare in the mid-'90s put an end to that.
  • Grifter the badass longcoat of the Wild C.A.T.s (WildStorm) smokes. A lot. In very inappropriate situations (such as free falling a few hundred metres).
  • Everyone who's anyone in Transmetropolitan smokes. Even the main character's cat smokes. At least the prevalence of genetic engineering has eliminated the "cancer" part. The cigarettes themselves have also been modified to provide health benefits. This is definite Author Appeal for Warren Ellis.
    Spider Jerusalem: Adolf Hitler's burned remains are still in the atmosphere. Everyone's got a particle of inhaled Hitler in their lungs.
  • Lucky Luke, always with a cigarette in his mouth or rolling it himself.
    • In the later comic-books, however, he quit, and started chewing on a straw instead. However, he still occasionally lights up the straw in a gesture of habit.
      • Several jokes were made out of the swap from cigarette to straw. In one story, a character offers Lucky Luke a cigarette, then remembers he had quit and offers a couple of straws to chew instead. Luke, hilariously, declines, saying he's trying to cut down.
      • This was parodied in the 2009 live-action movie, during the credits. While the credits roll, Lucky Luke can be seen smoking a cigarette... then he notices the camera is on him, turns around and somewhat clumsily replaces the cigarette with a straw. When he turns back to the audience, he says: "Hello. My name is Lucky Luke. I quit smoking in 1986, and I'm feeling much better now."
  • In Watchmen, the Comedian was constantly chewing on a cigar. Laurie also smoked — first cigarettes, and by the main comic timeline, something eerily akin to a crack pipe which could be a weird-shaped cigarette holder. She's tried to quit and failed. Weirdly, in the movie, there was no indication she ever smoked. In the comics, Silhouette was shown with a cigarette lighter during at least one Minutemen meeting. Apparently, since Laurie doesn't smoke in the movie it makes her fumbling around Dan's Owl Ship looking for a lighter and pressing the flamethrower button nonsensical.
  • More or less inverted in various Disney comics. The only good guy who smokes in Mickey Mouse comics is the rather incompetent cop Detective Casey, while Psycho for Hire Pegleg Pete is just the most famous crook who is often seen with a cigar butt in his mouth. Meanwhile, on the Duck side, one of the few smokers is The Old Convict Grampa Beagle and his corncob pipe.
  • Mongrol in ABC Warriors commonly has a lit cigar dangling from his mouth. Even though he's a robot.
  • As in the TV section below, Hannibal Smith is probably the only fictional character who chain-smokes cigars.
  • Most of the characters in Sin City smoke. This is due to its Film Noir roots.
  • Miss Misery of Out In The Cold smokes constantly; she is literally never seen without a cigarette. When she walks into a government building puffing away and a security guard tries to stop her, she says, "It's okay, I have a medical condition." This turns out to be, more or less, true: her villain power is that the more evilly she behaves, the more she flourishes and the better she looks.
  • Blacksad is smoking in approximately 75% of the panels he is in. So. Cool.
  • Dr. Will Magnus, creator of the Metal Men, smokes a pipe. In 52 it was revealed that he does not actually light (or stuff, presumably) it any longer, but keeps the pipe out of an oral fixation. This oral fixation is so strong that when he was briefly a Metal Man himself in the 90s, he actually grew a pipe out of his own mouth just to have it there.
  • In The Secret Service, Jack teaches Gary to smoke with style.
  • Commissioner Gondor, a friend of Wilq, is certainly one of the noblest characters in the series. Finding one single panel with him without a cigarette may be a very difficult, if not impossible task.
  • Gaston Lagaffe: Early strips showed Gaston smoking along with the rest of the office (on one occasion, for the Panicky Expectant Father routine) when he was trying to hatch what turned out to be sea turtle eggs), but later quit when the health hazards became known. One strip even had him mess with the office sprinkler system to deliver a shower every time someone lit up.
  • Requiem Vampire Knight: During a lull in the extended fight between Cryptus and Tengu, their disciples Requiem and Dragon make conversation and light up together for absolutely no reason but this trope.
  • Many, many characters in Tex Willer, as expected from a western series set in the Wild West, when smoking was widespread and well before the link between tobacco and cancer was discovered. The only times smoking is objected is when it's opium (as its effects were already well known) or peyote without control of a native shaman (even the shamans themselves are wary to do it more than strictly necessary, with one having explicitly done so once and then sworn to never to so again due being terrified by whatever he saw).

    Comic Strips 
  • Steve Dallas of Bloom County. He quit smoking for a time, but shortly before the comic strip ended he instantly picked it back up again.
  • One Calvin and Hobbes strip has Calvin telling his father that he should start smoking cigars because it's all the rage. His mother overhears:
    Calvin's mom (dryly): Flatulence could be all the rage, but it would still be disgusting.
    Calvin's dad: Nicely put, dear.
  • Nero: Madam Pheip, a middle-aged woman always smokes a pipe. She is nevertheless a badass fighter and can be very intelligent if a situation calls for it. In later albums, she tried to quit but always took on her habit again near the end of the story. The character was based on an actual pipe-smoking woman creator Marc Sleen saw as a child and was scared of.
  • Paulus de Boskabouter: Despite being a children's strip Paulus the wood gnome is often seen smoking a pipe.
  • Inverted in Pearls Before Swine. Stephan Pastis, as part of his Self-Deprecation, has his Author Avatar smoke to make him look more like a loser.
  • Rasmus Klump: The captain smoked a pipe in the older stories, but in more recent editions he is drawn without one.

    Fan Works 
  • Mokou from Touhou Project is frequently shown smoking to make her look badass in fanart. This trope is also used for her in the fan video search & caved.
  • In The Pokémon Squad, three characters are confirmed smokers. Barney constantly smokes because he thinks it's healthy. Elmo smokes because he finds it fun. June started smoking when she was 14 (she started after KaBlam! got canceled).
  • As part of his rebellious phase, Izuku from Switch The Colors had taken up smoking. After he receives his smoke-quirk, cigarettes no longer have a physiologically negative effect on him and it increases his power reserves, allowing him to switch to his smoke quirk at full capacity.

    Films — Animation 
  • Subverted in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. During flashbacks, mob boss Salvatore Valestra is shown smoking like the Badass gangster he is. Fast forward to the present, where he wheezes and coughs, forever slave to oxygen tanks.
  • The Great Mouse Detective: Basil is seen smoking from a pipe most of the time, but he smokes a cigarette while in disguise at a pub, which admittedly makes him look very badass. Ratigan also smokes cigarettes with great flourish. TONS of other minor/secondary characters in the film smoke, both good and bad guys. This seemed to have the second or third most smoking in a Disney film (The Three Caballeros had the most.) One scene even showed the awful side effects, when some mean woman at the bar blew smoke in Dawson's face to make him hack and wheeze, only to laugh at him!
  • In Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros, José Carioca was often seen smoking a cigar, since he was Brazilian. In more modern interpretations of the character, he is never seen near a cigar.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • See page quote re: Out of the Past. In one scene Robert Mitchum goes into a bad guy's office, punches him out, then lights a cigarette with the lighter on the bad guy's desk.
  • The slang expression "don't bogart that joint" comes from the fact that Humphrey Bogart frequently had a lit cigarette in hand during his various starring roles, but is often too preoccupied with dialogue and plot to actually take a drag. In one of his most famous films, The Maltese Falcon, Bogart and his co-stars purposefully smoked excessively — partly to make their characters seem more tense and badass, and partly as a Take That! to studio head Jack Warner and his new mandate that characters smoke less onscreen. The prank was Peter Lorre's idea. Unfortunately, Bogart died fairly young in 1957 due to smoking.
  • Marlene Dietrich
  • Bette Davis: Especially the famous dual smoking scene in Now, Voyager.
  • The titular character in Ip Man smokes a pipe. Of course, he's a badass.
  • In Grease, Sexy Sandy smoked, while Plain Jane Sandy couldn't abide cigarettes. All of the T-birds smoked too, mostly Danny and Kenicki. Rizzo of the Pink Ladies was another smoker, as was Frenchie, and so was the guy in the car with the flames on it that everybody hated.
  • To fit with her bad girl persona in The Whole Town's Talking, Miss Clark (played by Jean Arthur) smokes like a chimney.
  • Zatoichi habitually smokes a pipe.
  • Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) in Goodfellas. Case in point.
  • James Bond:
    • The movie Bond smokes much less than the original. It should be noted that the campiest and suavest Bond, Roger Moore, smoked cigars while the more brooding and badass Timothy Dalton version smoked cigarettes, as did Sean Connery.
    • In Live and Let Die, Bond is smoking while shaving, when a villain lets a venomous snake into the bathroom. Bond notices it, and ever resourceful kills it by using the cigarette and an aerosol can of aftershave to fashion a makeshift flamethrower and spraying it at the reptile.
    • One notable part is Bond's first line in Tomorrow Never Dies: after giving a terrorist a light, he punches him and says "Filthy habit!" However, since the guy was clearly smoking hand-rolled (and probably marijuana), and Bond is seen carrying a lighter in the film, one can speculate that he still doesn't have a problem with tobacco. That said, he did have one good reason to say that.
    • Averted starting with GoldenEye. Pierce Brosnan made a conscious decision to make Bond a non-smoker, a sentiment followed up by Daniel Craig even though both have smoked before (Brosnan did a series of Larks commercials in Japan, in the eighties. Craig gave up smoking to play Bond.) Of course, Brosnan still smokes a cigar in Die Another Day.
  • In Hitman, the Interpol agent pursuing 47 smokes cigarettes, because he's hard, but never gets to light them, because he's not a villain.
  • Aliens. Sergeant Apone sticks a cigar in his mouth the moment he wakes up from cold sleep (though he never seems to light it). Not to mention Ripley, whose smoking habit saves her life (when trapped in Medical with the facehuggers, she uses her lighter to activate the fire alarm).
  • In The Great Race, The Great Leslie smokes a perfectly white pipe. While shaving. Of course, it's a comedy, so it's something of a send-up.
  • Used with a raised eyebrow in the movie version of Children of Men - the protagonist smokes because he's in a dying world and wants, even if only subconsciously, to hasten his own demise.
  • The Lady from Shanghai Elsa Bannister takes up smoking to prove her love to Michael O'Hara.
  • Clint Eastwood almost always smokes cigarillos in his western films, and it has become an iconic part of his "Man with No Name" persona created in his collaborations with Sergio Leone. In The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, he even uses his cigar to light a cannon and knock Tuco off a horse. Eastwood made the choice to smoke as part of his character, but hated the cigars, and is a staunch non-smoker. This is part of the reason why he's so often doing a Clint Squint.
  • Lee Van Cleef made smoking a pipe look very cool. He does the same thing with Col. Mortimer in For a Few Dollars More and as Angel Eyes in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
  • Smoking was big in film noir movies. In Sunset Boulevard. Norma Desmond smokes expensive cigarettes with a holder that is a strange piece of twisted wire that wraps around her index finger.
  • The 1995 sci-fi film Screamers made smoking a plot point: the drug that helped counter the radiation of the planet was administered via cigarette.
  • In Men in Black, the "worm guys" in the break room (according to the books their species is Vermar), smoke cigarettes while swilling coffee. (Zigzagged as far as the Trope goes, as Word of God insists that this was simply an attempt to make a scene that was funny, not portray smoking as "cool".)
  • In Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010), there's Absolem, of course.
  • Reservoir Dogs, including the famous slow-mo intro and Tim Roth's character puffing out neat smoke rings in a flashback scene.
  • Many characters in Pulp Fiction.
  • 9-year-old Addie in Paper Moon. Just see that page image.
  • Thin Man from Charlie's Angels (2000) smoked his cigarettes with almost poignant refinement, with this scene as an example.
  • Eastern Promises: Nikolai has some pretty awesome moves with those cigarettes.
  • Hilariously defied in Muppets from Space: after coating themselves with invisibility spray, the Muppets sneak past a couple of Area 51 guards, one of whom lights up. Pepe the Prawn cannot abide this, and tells him "Smoking is very bad for you, okay?" The guard, thinking it was his colleague who spoke, smiles and says "Oh. I didn't know you care," in a sweet-natured, borderline homoerotic tone, before putting out his cigarette.
  • The Dude smokes three joints over the course of The Big Lebowski. Then again, The Dude is a loser. Before beginning a new scene, Jeff Bridges usually would ask Ethan or Joel Coen whether "the Dude just burned one." The Coens usually replied "yes," so Jeff would rub his eyes hoping they'd look a bit red. So...only three joints were more-visibly smoked, apparently.
  • Hobbits, Dwarves, humans, as well as Gandalf and Saruman, smoke in The Lord of the Rings. Aragorn's introduction involves him smoking in a shadowy corner, with the light of his pipe briefly illuminating his eyes. Gandalf also uses his magic to blow a smoke sailboat in a smoke ring contest. Apparently, Peter Jackson considered giving Gandalf candy to eat instead of a pipe, but fortunately the idea was dropped; however, Gandalf is shown coughing while smoking in the third film.
  • In 3000 Miles to Graceland, the two Federal Marshals trying to catch the casino robbers always light cigarettes after they walk out of a building. Except the sidekick Marshal is always having to fuss with his lighter before it'll light. Finally, towards the end of the movie, the main cop (Quigley) lights his cigarette for him:
    Federal Marshal Quigley: Either quit smoking or get a new lighter.
  • Tyler Durden of Fight Club. He's so cool that his loser friend picks up the habit as well. Marla attends cancer support groups in a cloud of smoke and complains that it doesn't go over well with the tuberculosis group. As the narrator talks about how much he hates her, there's a slow-motion shot of Marla impassively bellowing smoke in slow motion like a dragon.
  • Napoleon Wilson of Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) repeatedly asks the other characters, "Got a smoke?" throughout the film.
  • In Breathless (Godard), the main characters smoked. What made it kind of strange and hilarious was that the cigarettes were always the same length, and when they were done with them, they chucked them across the room. In restaurants, hotels, etc. Apparently, nothing catches fire in Paris.
  • Sartana smokes hand-rolled cigarettes often when he's not kicking ass.
  • Blade Runner, since it was a neo-noir. It comes with the territory.
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army actually has a disclaimer buried at the end of the credits stating that all the smoking in the film is for dramatic purposes only, and should not be taken as an endorsement for the idea that smoking is cool. As if anybody who needs that information is going to read or pay attention to it.
  • The Wild Geese: Roger Moore's character Sean Fynn, chomping on a cigar even as the mercenaries are infiltrating an enemy base.
  • In The Usual Suspects, Keyzer Soze sports a cool gold lighter. Using a cigarette to light some gasoline is one of the few things we see him do before the end. While in his loser Verbal persona, he cannot operate a lighter. When he transforms back into the cool crimelord, he deftly flicks the lighter open and strikes a pose lighting up as the real Kobayashi arrives to spirit him away.
  • A trademark of Johnnie To. In his movies protagonists smoke much more often than the villains. Especially in Vengeance, where they take part in a dramatic shootout while nonchalantly smoking cigarettes.
  • In Exiled, another Johnnie To movie, Sergeant Chen, a supporting protagonist and a sole survivor of a convoy heist, snipes gangsters while smoking.
  • In The Bank Dick, after being incorrectly identified as a hero in his small town, W. C. Fields entertains some kids with some cigarette tricks. He sends them off, saying "I'll teach you when you're older! Didn't take it up myself 'til I was nine..."
  • Bruce Willis in his earlier films, particularly in Die Hard and The Last Boy Scout.
  • Beetlejuice has Juno, who smokes in a way that's cool in a Black Comedy sort of way. A ghost who was killed by having her throat cut (and actually rather lucky, compared to the extreme Jacob Marley Apparel of most of the other ghosts), when she smokes, she "exhales" through the wound in her neck.
  • In Ra.One, this trope is discussed (the hero's young son thinks it's cool), lampshaded when his father tells him he's just gotten that idea from the wrong sort of movies, and then parodied when the Ridiculously Human Robot tries it...unsuccessfully. The scene ends with the kid concluding that Smoking Is Not Cool.
  • There are a couple of scenes in the 1954 sci-fi classic Them! where you can barely see the characters for all the cigarette smoke. For example, the briefing scene where Dr. Medford the Elder is showing his film of normal ants.
  • Virtually everyone smokes in The Blues Brothers. Jake, in particular, is typically seen holding a cigarette in the film's poster.
  • Used as a plot point in Thank You for Smoking; the tobacco lobby group sends a tobacco lobbyist (Nick Naylor) to push for a Hollywood megaproducer to make films that to bring this trope and Smoking Is Glamorous back. As the producer says, "Mr. Naylor's here to see if we can't get cigarettes into the hands of someone other than the usual RAVS (Russians, Arabs, and Villains)." They paint the image of Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta-Jones having sex in zero gravity in the far future with Brad blowing smoke rings over Catherine's naked body as the cosmos flies by.
  • Loving Annabelle: Katherine and Annabelle, the cool girls of their dorm, are smokers.
  • Snake Plissken. The final scene of Escape from L.A. is even Snake just lighting up his cigarette and staring at the flame, looking like a badass, with a quote once the image cuts.

  • Older Than Radio: The hookah-smoking Caterpillar in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. In Disney's adaptation, he's even cooler, able to blow colored smoke rings in the shape of letters.
  • In The Alice Network:
    • Eve, Charlie, Rose, and Lili are all badass characters who smoke cigarettes.note  This being a period setting, smoking is still considered daring for a woman to engage in, making it even cooler.
    • Cameron, being the Quintessential British Gentleman and Eve's hot, edgy superior, smokes a pipe (although we never actually see him smoking, one of the things that Eve finds comforting and attractive about him is the scent of pipe tobacco that hangs around him).
    • René, being a French Man of Wealth and Taste, smokes French cigarettes.
  • In The Hobbit, Bilbo, Thorin, and Gandalf smoke pipes and can blow smoke rings; Gandalf, being a wizard, can blow them in shapes other than rings, turn them different colors, and make them hang in the air for a long time (making him look "strange and sorcerous") or make them fly around the room.
  • In the Gone series, Lana in Lies. Justified because she can heal herself of any damage caused.
  • Oscar Wilde certainly thought so. Lord Henry Wotton, easily the coolest character in The Picture of Dorian Gray is a prolific chain-smoker.
  • Commander Samuel Vimes from the Discworld novels smokes cigars. This seems to be something he took up to get his mind off drinking, which was his previous vice.
    • Occasionally, however, he uses his smoking for practical purposes like ruining an opponent's night-vision. Arguably, this makes his smoking habit even more badass.
    • Even if smoking isn't cool, using a dragon as a lighter is (even if it's a small dragon).
    • Also from Discworld, Adora Belle Dearheart. Kissing her is apparently "like kissing an ashtray, but in a good way."
    • Death's manservant Albert also smokes foul cigarettes that he rolls himself. He, of course, has no reason to worry about the ill effects of smoking. In the miniseries made of Hogfather, it is a Running Gag that Albert constantly fails to roll his fag for various reasons. He finally succeeds at the end, grimaces at the taste and throws it away.
    • In Mort Death himself smokes an ornate pipe once, which definitely qualifies as cool at the same time as working as a stealth warning against smoking. He blows smoke rings with his eyeholes.
  • The most intellectual of detectives, Sherlock Holmes, smoked a variety of pipes in his youth but went over to cigarettes as they came into fashion.
  • Philip Marlowe, father of all Badass Longcoat heroes, smoked cigarettes when he was out and about and a pipe when he was at home or in his office.
  • A.J. Raffles, who was intended partly as an Evil Counterpart of Holmes, smoked Sullivan cigarettes, to the point where when returning to London after being lost and presumed dead, he didn't dare smoke that brand, since it was so heavily identified with him.
  • Aversion: Nero Wolfe not only did not smoke, but he also objected to smoking to the extent that he once sent a client who had just paid him a five-figure retainer out on the front stoop to smoke. (And this was written in the 1930s when smoking was socially acceptable.)
    • Maybe it's supposed to show how neurotic he is. Or, at least, fastidious and eccentric.
    • That and even being near a smoker can harm your palate. Even back in the 30s gourmands tended not to smoke or, for that matter, drink cocktails/spirits.
    • Interestingly, Wolfe's sidekick Archie Goodwin also didn't smoke, despite otherwise being a typical hardboiled detective.
  • In The Lord of the Rings most of the members of the Fellowship smoke. In Middle-earth, smoking was invented by the Shire-Hobbits, and subsequently adopted by the people of Bree-land, and the Dwarves, and at least some of the Rangers of the North (including Aragorn); no other cultures have adopted it, and most places it is unknown. For the hobbits, it's one of their domestic comforts. Gandalf displays his magical nature by blowing special smoke rings. In the first film, Aragorn is introduced as a bad ass through his smoking, posed in the shadows with the light of the pipe illuminating his eyes. As part of Tolkien's Direct Line to the Author, he felt obliged to include an entire appendix explaining the history of smoking in his artificial pre-Beowulf myth cycle. Probably because tobacco is an American plant, and the book is set in what will become Europe. Tolkien handwaved it by explaining that it was brought to Middle-Earth by Numenorian explorers.
  • One of the eventually solved mysteries in Atlas Shrugged concerns a brand of cigarettes whose trademark is a dollar sign. (Remember the theme of Atlas Shrugged: $ = capitalism = good.) One character gives a speech on how "fire in a man's hands" makes him feel powerful.
  • The General: Everybody on planet Bellevue smokes like chimneys, the rich and aristocratic using long ivory cigarette holders, probably as a tension reliever. On Bellevue, the homefront is every bit as stressful as the battlefront.
  • H. Beam Piper:
    • Little Fuzzy: Darn near EVERYONE in this series smokes. By the looks of it, enough to keep Philip Morris in business by themselves.
    • "Omnilingual": This novelette (link) is about archaeology on Mars, using smoking as a plot point.
  • Catherine Li of Chris Moriarty's Spin series. One character even thinks wonders why she hadn't completely covered an explosion crater with them.
  • Stephen King, the chain-smoking Harley Davidson rider, has many characters that smoke; some of whom have used cigarettes as improvised weapons.
    • Didn't he quit (many years ago) for health reasons?
    • Stephen King tends to play around with this more than playing it straight, especially in later years since he (presumably) quit. For example, in one short story, a man who'd quit smoking uses the cigarette offered to him by his captors as a weapon, and then, after he escapes, buys a pack of cigarettes and smokes just one as a sort of reward to himself. Other stories depict characters who quit smoking, know they should quit smoking, don't normally smoke but do so in an extreme situation to show how stressed out they are, refuse cigarettes DESPITE how stressed out they are, or other variants on the trope, all pretty much true to life. Rarely is it played as straight as "cigarette = badass."
  • Ilia Volyova of Alastair Reynold's Revelation Space series. It seems to be a habit for the fun of it, but also because it keeps her going in a twisted environment.
  • Fitz Kreiner from the Doctor Who Expanded Universe smokes "thirty a day". This despite the fact that the Doctor has some sort of Applied Phlebotinum that could almost instantly cure him of his addiction, and almost every other character has lectured him about it at some point or another. Apparently, smoking is just that cool. Also, oddly enough, in one of the novels, Fitz coughs up blood for no possible reason except his smoking. It's never mentioned later on, he never does so again, and he doesn't quit smoking. It's almost like a very minor, low-key Big-Lipped Alligator Moment.
  • There are at least two species of organism that have colonized every planet in the galaxy in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series: Humans, and tobacco.
  • James Bond, in the books, is a particularly heavy smoker. As mentioned in an episode of QI, there is a passage where Bond lights "his sixtieth cigarette of the day". He probably then goes on to run two miles in six minutes, shoot a homosexual (who can't whistle), eat a magnificent dinner, and make love to many beautiful ladies in a single night, all without ever getting out of breath.
  • In the Lensman books, nearly everyone smokes like a chimney. They also drink like fishes. Various other X like Y metaphors might also be deployed here. But illegal drugs, like "Thionite", are a scourge on mankind that must be met with hot lead justice, and are invariably a money-maker for the forces of evil. Put it down to the cultural mores of the time, I suppose...
  • In the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr, smoking seems to be a general feature of the Dark court. Particular mention goes to Irial, who is simply that awesome, and Niall, who only starts smoking once he Becomes dark king. Plus, it helps make their feelings for each other clearer- Irial reached into Niall's jacket to get his cigarettes, conveniently brushing his fingers over the other male's chest whilst doing so.
  • Citizen Admiral Lester Tourville of the Honor Harrington series smokes cigars to accentuate his Military Maverick imagenote . In any given meeting he is required to attend, his assigned seat is always directly under a return vent for the air circulation system, so his cigar smoke will make a hasty Air-Vent Passageway escape instead of lingering in the room.
  • In Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins, we get this:
    "Smoking cigarettes is as intimate as we can become with fire without immediate excruciation. Every smoker is an embodiment of Prometheus, stealing fire from the gods and bringing it back home. We smoke to capture the power of the sun, to pacify Hell, to identify with the primordial spark, to feed on the marrow of the volcano. When we smoke, we are performing a version of the fire dance, a ritual as ancient as lightning."
  • In Spider Robinson's Stardance, people smoke in space without consequence simply by wearing fans on their wrist to draw away the smoke.
  • In The Maltese Falcon, Sam Spade was constantly rolling cigarettes, often using it as a means of exacerbating a pregnant pause. Dashiell Hammett described Sam's actions in such loving detail that the books doubles as a classic murder mystery and an instruction manual for hand-rolling cigarettes.
  • Meursault in the Albert Camus novel The Stranger. He is often considered a badass existentialist Anti-Hero. Besides, smoking later becomes somewhat symbolic of the meaning of the novel.
  • The Dark Tower: Roland, the baddest dude in the multiverse, is an avid smoker who rolls his own cigarettes. Jake, an 11-year-old boy, so emulates him as an adopted father that he takes up smoking, which Roland decides to allow. However, Stephen King's Author Avatar in the series is a chain smoker who is shown to be on a self-destructive path.
  • In Operation Chaos, Steve notes that he prefers to smoke Philip Morris cigarettes, because they come with a little red smoke imp that can mix you a drink.
  • Gus and his pack of "metaphorically resonant" cigarettes from The Fault in Our Stars, although he just enjoys holding them in his mouth unlit (they're cancer survivors, not suicidal). Hazel calls him on it the first time she sees him do it. She's especially offended because she already has breathing problems and is on oxygen due to her lung tumors.
  • Everworld: In order to cement Everworld's very different cultural history, a Viking rolls himself a cigar when attacking an Aztec town.
  • Embraced in libertarian Victoria. Most of the military leaders on the "good" side are smokers, and various brands of cigars, pipe blends and so on are lovingly referenced, whereas the corrupt government that provides most of the villains is associated with health-nutty anti-tobacco policies.
  • The Reunion With Twelve Fascinating Goddesses has several characters who smoke, including Tooi's grandmother and Gilfrain. The former was able to live to the age of 121 despite her habit.
  • Oz from Raise Some Hell smokes so much that when he gained the ability to summon a demon, he uses its ability to make fire to light his cigarettes
  • Monster Hunter International: Earl Harbinger, the leader of MHI and one of the biggest badasses in the series, smokes pretty heavily. In his case, he doesn't have to worry about lung cancer since his werewolf regeneration heals over any damage caused by the smoking. Leads to an amusing moment in Alpha when Earl having lost his werewolf curse and been made human again takes a bad draw of an offered cigarette and starts hacking, with the giver noting those things'll kill you. Earl notes that, yeah, now they can. He gets his powers back near the end thanks to reinfection, so he doesn't have to worry about that anymore.
  • Invoked in Harrow the Ninth. Ianthe (scion of the hedonistic and power-hungry Third House, and a genius necromancer) admires her mentor's smoking habit and intends to cultivate one herself mainly because she loves what a power move it is to smoke on a space station. (It also shows off his Lyctoral powers; part of the immortal super-necromancer package is an amazing healing factor.)
  • In the Robert A. Heinlein novella "If This Goes On—" the protagonist, John Lyle (who is very naive at the beginning of the story and more than a bit of a goody two-shoes) expresses his disapproval at the smoking habit of his friend Zeb (who is considerably more cynical than him and also way cooler). By the end of the story, John Lyle has grown up considerably as far as naïveté goes, in the process becoming a heroic resistance fighter who plays a crucial role in overthrowing the corrupt theocracy of "the Prophet Incarnate". The very last page of the story has Lyle casually stop to light a cigarette (in the middle of a battle) before putting it out "after one soul-satisfying drag" and charging into the Big Bad's palace.
  • The Moomins:
    • Snufkin has a tobacco-related Meaningful Name in the original Swedish, English, and many other translations. Because he's often Walking the Earth, he can't hold many possessions, but his pipe is one of the few things he'll keep with him at all times. He's also considered one of the coolest members of the cast, due to his stoic, mature personality and disdain for authority. That said, Snufkin's smoking is usually Bowdlerized out of most adaptations, perhaps because despite his Vague Age, he's strongly implied to be underage.
    • In The Exploits of Moominpappa, a corollary of this trope is brought up: the Hemulen Aunt is treated as a huge buzzkill who Moominpappa and his friends ditch at their earliest convenience. Because she's uncool, she's also anti-smoking, chastising Moominpappa for smoking his pipe. Yes, that's a bit of Values Dissonance compared to how non-smokers are seen today...

    Live-Action TV 

In General:

  • Many TV series in the early-to-mid 1950s featured lead characters who smoked cigarettes. Mainly, these were adult-oriented sitcoms, although a few Dom Coms also had one or more lead characters who were into the habit.
    • One of the best-known examples to modern audiences is I Love Lucy, where each of the four leads (Ricky and Lucy Ricardo, and Fred and Ethel Mertz) regularly lit up on the set. One episode even featured Lucy and Ethel as dancing cigarette packages, mimicking a frequent early TV advertising tactic. The famous "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" episode (where she appears in a live TV commercial for Vitameatavegamin, a tonic that gets her very drunk) has Lucy pitching a cigarette brand to demonstrate to Ricky her acting abilities.
    • Another well-known example was I Married Joan, but this series is not as widely distributed these days.
  • Well-documented are the cigarette commercials, all of which portrayed smoking as "cool", "glamorous", "macho", etc. Many of the commercials depicted its models in various social, recreational and/or adventure settings, with young men and women puffing away in a carefree manner. The last commercials on U.S. television aired on January 2, 1971 ... snuffed out by federal mandate.
    • On the flip side, as anti-tobacco campaigns began ramping up in the 1990s, one of the more memorable commercials featured the "death of the Marlboro Man." Charles McLaren, the brother of the late Wayne McLaren (one of many Marlboro men employed during the cigarette brand's "Marlboro Country" ad campaign), implored children not to smoke. The commercial opened with a shot of a young, vibrant Wayne McLaren in one of the Marlboro magazine ads, after which a picture appears of his withered, old-looking self hours before his death.
  • Many celebrities who appeared on game shows (prior to the early 1980s) regularly lit up on the air. Several panelists smoked on the Match Game, most famously, the three regulars (Brett Somers and Richard Dawson with cigarettes, and Charles Nelson Reiley with a pipe), while '50s rock star Fabian was seen puffing away on at least one episode of The Hollywood Squares. The compedium "The Game Show Encyclopedia" featured a picture from a game called The Object Is, where cigarettes in an ashtray could be easily seen in the picture next to several celebs; another picture in the same book shows Michael Landon taking a drag on the set of The Celebrity Game (a descendant to Hollywood Squares).
    • On at least one episode of The Price Is Right, former model Anitra Ford (one of the few Barker-era models to leave the show on her own terms) was seen with a lighted cigarette during a Showcase skit (where she was playing a detective's buxom during a mystery-themed showcase); it was not clear if she inhaled or took a full drag.
    • Until the early 1980s, there were occasional prizes that were related to cigar and cigarette smoking, including (but not limited to) gold-plated lighters, table lighters, cedar cigar/cigarette boxes, humidors, and purse-type leather pouches (where women stashed their smokes, this item itself being part of a larger collection of a leather goods package).
      • As a parting gift on at least one episode of To Tell the Truth, a threesome of boys (who tried to stump the panel about who was the real heroic Boy Scout) were given a Winston cigarettes gift package ("for their fathers"), while the other contestants were given the same gift package. This was on an episode sponsored by Winston.
    • Game show legend Bill Cullen was also a pack-plus-a-day smoker throughout most of his adult life, although he rarely smoked on-camera. He had quit by 1987, the year he made his final game show appearances; in one of those final appearances, on The $25,000 Pyramid, Dick Clark remarked to Bill about his recent kicking the habit for good. Ultimately, it was lung cancer (brought on by years of moderately heavy smoking) that killed Cullen in 1990, at the relatively young age of 70.
  • Many situation comedies — including but not limited to The Brady Bunch, Leave It to Beaver, and so forth — featured single episodes where a teen-aged or child character experiments with smoking but decides he doesn't like it. On The Brady Bunch, Mike (the father, played by Robert Reed) admits he smoked in his younger days, while on Beaver the titular character steals his father's rare pipe to smoke it. Another episode of Beaver had Wally dating a woman who smoked.
    • Another situation comedy, Diff'rent Strokes graphically showed the negative effects of smoking. The father of Arnold's best friend admits to being a chronic smoker and needs a lung operation ... then, in a show of how addictive the habit can be, is shown lighting a cigarette as he leaves the Drummonds' apartment.
    • While not a situation comedy, another negative depiction of smoking is seen in one of the most famous episodes of Little House on the Prairie. In the set-up to the defining scene in the episode "May We Make Them Proud" (where a fire at the School for the Blind kills Alice Garvey, and the baby son of Adam and Mary Kendall), Albert and a friend sneak into the basement to smoke a pipe, but after being shooed from the basement, leave a burning pipe in a pile of blankets.
  • Ernie Anderson frequently smoked on television as Ghoulardi. And he died of cancer in 1997.


  • Gomez, debonair and worldly patriarch of The Addams Family smoked cigars since early childhood, apparently at his mother's insistence. Indeed, whenever he takes one, it lights up on its own.
    • Or is already lit. You reference the movie—in the original, live-action TV series, Morticia also smoked. She didn't use cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, she just... smoked.
      • Gomez and Morticia also occasionally shared a hookah.
  • The Andy Griffith Show: Andy Taylor can be seen lighting up in several episodes. For example, after he finished lecturing Opie about lying in the episode "Mr. McBeevee". (McBeevee — unseen to Andy until the climactic scene — also smokes in the episode, as told by Opie: "He can make smoke come out of his ears.") Andy's smoking is more prominent in the earlier black-and-white episodes, and by the first color season, he had put away his pack for good. (Don Knotts was also a known smoker, although he never lit up on the show.)
  • Hannibal Smith on The A-Team. Other characters did point it every now and then.
  • Both Starbucks, in both versions of Battlestar Galactica, have been seen smoking cigars; the modern version of Baltar was smoking a cheroot during his introduction, and Doc Cottle is almost never seen without a cigarette on the go. Yet it was Laura Roslin who got cancer; go figure.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Amy says "I recently trained a capuchin monkey to smoke cigarettes... He looks much cooler than the non-smoking monkeys. Although it's not much of a contest. The other monkeys just sit around and masturbate."
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Spike's introduction was of him smoking, in a very badass way.
      • And he continues to do so. At one point he lights a cigarette in a hospital, right in front of a "no smoking" sign.
      • When he reappears on Angel James Marsters wanted to convey to fans that smoking is not cool, thus Spike gave up the habit.
    • Although BTVS started off with the convention that "Everyone that smokes is evil or doomed" (N.B. not necessarily dead - even the minor character in "Nightmares" who goes into the basement for a "smoke break" then gets assaulted by the monster, lives), this is well and truly subverted in later seasons. In "Band Candy", Giles and Joyce smoke. Giles gets off scot free, and it would be drawing a long bow to connect Joyce's death two seasons later to this incident. Further, Faith doesn't smoke in Season 3 when she is evil, and does smoke in Season 7 when she's good (and not doomed).
    • The show even hung a lampshade on this trope when Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain/Unknown Rival Harmony seeks "shelter" from the slayer in Spike's crypt, sparking up a cigarette. Parodied in that when she tries to do it, well, she looks like an idiot.
      Spike: Taking up smoking, are we Harm?
      Harmony: I am a villain, Spike. Hello. (takes one drag, coughs, splutters)
    • And who can forgot season 2, when Angel becomes Angelus? He bites into a prostitute (who is smoking) and when he comes up, he exhales the smoke. Not only badass, but frightening for fans used to the friendly, broody hunk they're used to.
    • Andrew looks like an idiot, in his opening "Storyteller" fantasy, when he has his big Meerschaum pipe. (Which he still hasn't got the hang of, when he pops up in Angel...No, not like that!)
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Master was very fond of cigars in his Delgado incarnation; but then he was the epitome of Evil Is Sexy. According to the special features on the DVD of "The Mind of Evil", the director insisted Delgado smoke a cigar in the story because it would look cool, even though Delgado was a non-smoker in real life who hated doing it. Delgado complained and was unhappy, but complied... and when he saw the finished episodes he praised the director for the idea, agreeing it made him look amazing.
    • "Victory of the Daleks" is set in a time period where there were plenty of smokers in Britain in Real Life, but the only character seen smoking is Winston Churchill. This is mainly to stay accurate, as Churchill was known for his cigar-smoking and brandy-drinking habits, the latter of which was not included, and it's considered one of the hallmarks of his wartime visage.
  • Dragnet: Jack Webb was a heavy smoker in real life, and Sgt. Joe Friday was often seen puffing on a cigarette (frequently, these were in transitional scenes).
    • The Webb-produced spinoffs — Adam-12 and Emergency! — also featured smoking, although it was seldom seen done by the lead characters. An early episode of Adam 12 shows Officer Malloy (Martin Milner) putting out a cigarette, while in Emergency, Nurse Dixie McCall (Julie London, Webb's real-life ex-wife) can also be seen smoking in at least one episode.
  • Jayne from Firefly is sometimes seen smoking a cigar.
  • Invoked by Chandler in an early episode of Friends when the others try to talk him into quitting: "I've had it with your cancer, and your emphysema, and your heart disease. The bottom line is, smoking is cool, and you know it."
  • Good Times: Wilnona is seen lighting up in at least one episode ("Florida's Night Out", where the gang takes Florida out for the first time since the tragic death of her husband).
  • In Have Gun – Will Travel, Paladin regularly smoked cigars.
  • Harmon Rabb from JAG used to smoke cigars until ”The Return of Jimmy Blackhorse” in the third season.
  • In Mad Men, Everybody Smokes, and just about every one of them looks damn cool doing it. However, Don Draper definitely takes the cake. At one point he even smokes while pitching an anti-smoking campaign. Notably, Pete, who most fans think of as an uptight jerkass, can't smoke without choking. Additionally, Peggy starts smoking more often as her character becomes more assertive. She even smokes a joint in one episode.
  • Played with in Katherine Applegate's Making Out series. Nina 'smokes', but never lights her cigarettes. Somehow, she still manages to get through packs at quite a pace.
  • Badass cop Zheglov in The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed.
  • In Miami Vice, Crockett smokes like a chimney throughout the first season, although he quietly drops the habit early in the second.
  • Believe it or not, this trope actually appeared in Power Rangers. Well...sort of. Obviously the writers were never going to get away with having a ranger actually light up, so instead, they had the Black RPM Ranger suck on a lollipop. It's...more badass than it sounds, really.
  • Many characters in Skins smoke freely and heavily (and a variety of substances, at that); Cook and Effy probably make it look the coolest. One notable exception is Katie, who does pretty much every drug that doesn't require syringes but doesn't smoke because of concerns about cancer. Until Effy teaches her how to smoke in one of the most Les Yay-laced scenes ever.
  • The eponymous bikers in Sons of Anarchy all smoke like chimneys. Club president Clay Morrow goes one better and smokes big fat cigars, but that's because he's played by Ron Perlman.
  • Both of the main characters from The Sweeney, just so you know they're double-hard bastards.
  • That '70s Show An episode had Donna revealing she smokes. When Eric points out that smoking causes cancer, Donna replies that it makes her look cool, so it's an even trade.
  • The Tonight Show: Prior to the early 1980s, numerous guests brought their cigarettes with them, frequently resulting in the set being fogged over in cigarette smoke. Sometimes, five or more people had lighted cigarettes in hand at any one time, and ashtrays were liberally placed between the chairs. Johnny Carson was a smoker, and to a lesser extent so was Ed McMahon, although both stopped lighting up on the set in the early 1980s as the habit became less socially acceptable. (McMahon ultimately quit, while some sources said that Carson continued his pack-plus-a-day habit for most of the rest of his life, ultimately dying in 2005 of respiratory failure brought on by emphysema.)
  • Jennifer Paterson of Two Fat Ladies was rarely seen outside the kitchen without a cigarette. Of course, she also died of lung cancer.
  • This trope is one of the ways that you can tell Daryl Dixon is a badass amongst badasses in The Walking Dead. Of course, with the all the ravenous undead and living sociopaths running around, lung cancer is maybe the least of his worries.
  • Played with once on Whose Line Is It Anyway? where the performers are told to look cool while doing something uncool. Colin steps out, mimes smoking a cigarette...and picks his nose.
  • Omar Little on The Wire, who has a tendency to be filmed at least once every season lurking in the shadows of a back alley smoking a cigarette.
  • The X-Files had its Cigarette Smoking Man. However, the other characters consider it a bad habit, and he later develops lung cancer.
    • Plus he does it everywhere, whether allowed to or not, even in FBI headquarters.
      • One Expanded Universe novel, namely Antibodies by Kevin J. Anderson, gave him a nasty cough.
      • The actor, however, hadn't smoked since the seventies - after a few episodes on regular cigarettes, he switched to Herbals for the rest of his tenure on the show.
  • You Again, starring veteran actor Jack Klugman and then-newcomer John Stamos, in a sitcom where a boy in his late teens (Stamos) comes to live with his estranged father. Stamos' character lights up in one early episode, but (after Klugman's character puts the cigarette out) is never seen smoking again.

  • Numerous album covers of virtually any genre — far too many to be reasonably listed — had the artists, actors, models, etc., with lighted cigarettes in hand or nearby ... implying they smoked. Just the same, countless publicity photos featured the artists with cigarettes, cigarette packs, etc. in hand.
  • "Smoke Break" by Carrie Underwood. Make no mistake — Carrie is a non-smoker. But she raised a few eyebrows in 2015 when she released the song as the lead track of her album Storyteller, with some critics claiming it promoted smoking as an acceptable habit. Underwood defended the song and said that was not her intent: "The song itself is just kind of one of those story songs that I feel like everybody can relate to, about how life is so hectic and it’s so nice when, if and when, you actually get to kind of step away for a second." She went on to say the song was not a pro-cigarette anthem but "a tribute to sneaking away from your responsibilities and taking a minute to breathe."
  • "Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)," a western swing-blues song from 1947, written by Merle Travis and Tex Williams, and became one of the first songs to go No. 1 on both the Billboard magazine country and pop charts in its version by Williams and His Western Caravan; Phil Harris also had a major pop hit with his cover version, also in 1947. Williams recorded an updated version in 1968, with references to the Surgeon General's report.
  • "Harry Rag" from The Kinks' Something Else by the Kinks is all about the joys of lighting up. "Harry rag" is Cockney rhyming slang for "fag".
  • Kurt Cobain of Nirvana was a smoker through and through, but he urged a young British fan to not pick up the habit as seen in the end of Live at Reading. As he gave an autograph, he happened to have a lit cigarette in one hand, and emphatically told the boy, "Don't smoke."
  • A Will Smith song mentions him having a Cuban cigar but "I bite it/It's for the look/I don't light it."
  • Downplayed in John Prine's semi-autobiographical song "Grandpa Was a Carpenter". In the chorus, Prine mentions that his grandfather, among other things for American carpenters to be proud of back in the '50s, "chain-smoked Camel cigarettes".


    Pro Wrestling 
(Just like every other profession, including athletics, many professional wrestlers smoke to varying degrees in Real Life. However, this list depicts only those instances where smoking was seen on-camera (usually as part of storylines or gimmicks) or documented cases where wrestlers were known smokers.)

  • During a WrestleMania III press conference, normally genial announcer "Mean" Gene Okerlund once famously shot to one journalist, "Put that cigarette out!" (although the offending reporter was never seen on camera). Okerlund was a non-smoker. (Although, in a comedy skit aired as part of Tuesday Night Titans three years earlier, Okerlund can be seen puffing on a cigar while eating breakfast. note ).
  • During his run in WCW, The Giant (Paul Wight) — had a short-lived gimmick called "The Smoking Giant." Wight's character would show such great disdain for his opponents (usually jobbers, or wrestlers paid to lose) that he would light a cigarette, take a drag or two during the match and then finish off the cigarette after pummeling his opponent into submission. On the June 18, 1998, WCW Thunder Disco Inferno, in all apparent seriousness, asked if he was afraid that the smoking would stunt his growth.
  • In a parody of Basic Instinct, aired as part of WWE's promotion of WrestleMania 21 (tagline: "WrestleMania Goes Hollywood"), WWE Diva Stacy Keibler — taking the role of Sharon Stone's Catherine Tramell — can be seen smoking during the interrogation scene. It is not known to what extent, or if, Keibler is/was a smoker.
  • During the early days of TNA, "Wildcat" Chris Harris was smoking during a backstage promo.
  • The Sandman, who has worked in ECW, WCW, WWE, and TNA, once went through a gimmick where he would smoke a cigarette prior to his matches. In one case, his habit backfired on him when, during a match with bitter rival Tommy Dreamer, a lit cigarette was pushed into his eye.
  • During their run in the WWE, Ron Simmons and John "Bradshaw" Layfield were "The APA," more often seen in comedy skits smoking cigars and playing poker, rather than beating down bad guys. This was prior to Layfield's transition into his "evil millionaire" gimmick as "JBL," which reflected his real-life financial trading career. Layfield continued his cigar-chomping ways during his JBL run.
  • Ex-Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura — most famous for his time as a shamelessly pro-heel commentator in the WWF — smoked cigars after he got into politics, although it is not known whether he smoked or chewed (or to what extent) during his wrestling career.
  • In his autobiography To Be the Man, legendary wrestler Ric Flair (believed to be a non-smoker) wrote that Ken Patera — the former Olympic weightlifter-turned-wrestler — was a regular smoker. Flair asked Patera once about his decision to smoke, to which Patera replied that he didn't need aerobic conditioning to lift weights.
  • Freebird Buddy Roberts smoked and developed throat cancer as a result. He required surgery and used a voice transmitter in order to speak. He died in 2012 from pneumonia.
  • Many times, a heel wrestler (or manager) will use a lighted cigarette or cigar as a weapon – often, rubbing the burning tip into the eyes – against his opponent to set up a finish and gain a cheap win. The most common example is The Dream Team's win over the team of Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda to win the WWF Tag Team Titles in 1985; the Dream Team's manager, Johnny Valiant, began chomping on a cigar during the bout and, when it came time for the finish, handed the lighted cigar to Greg "the Hammer" Valentine to rub into Windham's face, setting him up for an easy pin by Valentine's partner, Brutus Beefcake.
  • Parodied in Ring of Honor where Jay Briscoe cut a promo out in the cold wearing nothing but a tank top to hide the fact it was his breath rather than smoke you were seeing. Mark and Papa weren't impressed. That said, Jay isn't afraid to light a roll, he's just afraid of smoking the good cigars that belong to his father.

  • Zig-Zagged by Dino Attack RPG. There are a number of badass characters who smoke, including Jim "Spy" Covalent and Clint Wayne, thus playing this trope straight. However, the trope is defied by a strict "no smoking" policy in Dino Attack Headquarters, and because a cigarette burned her home to the ground when she was only a child, Smoking is not Cool in Amanda's eyes.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The archwizard Elminster Aumar from the Forgotten Realms setting smokes an ornate pipe that is enchanted to never run out of tobacco. Presumably, he can afford to smoke seeing as how he's immortal. (Some rumors have said that Elminster is more senile than many believe, and thinks his pipe is a living being, claiming to have seen him talking to it; in truth, he often uses it as a focus for spells to speak to other powerful wizards like the Simbul over long distances.)
  • Warhammer 40,000: While some humans are known to smoke, the Orks are no slouches at it, adding to their already ridiculously long list of awesomeness tropes. Just about every Burna Boy has a noxious cigar to chomp on, and a fluff piece on Kaptin Baddrukk even notes that he was "badly wounded and out of cigars", without telling which one he considered the more urgent issue.
  • Zig-zagged or subverted in Necromunda: A character can use Lho-sticks, the tobacco (or stronger, depending on author) equivalent of the far grant a morale bonus for being seen as "cool", but the only friendly characters who will benefit from this boost, looking up to the smoker as an inspirational tough guy/gal, are those with a low intelligence score...
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade, vampires often smoke despite getting nothing out of because it looks cool. Also, since vampires are intrinsically terrified of fire (even a candle flame may trigger Rötschreck, or the Red Fear, a state of uncontrollable panic), a habit that involves using a lighter right in front of your face on the regular demonstrates a certain level of toughness.

  • In Company, Joanne states that smoking is "the best". In the DVD of the 2011 concert version where she is played by Patti LuPone, you can see that she's smoking Pall Malls, which fits with the sort of character she is.

    Video Games 
  • Adam Jensen from Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. You don't see him smoke in game, but you find cigarettes in his apartment, and this trailer has him lighting up, possibly to deal with the trauma of becoming an augment.
    • The accompanying comic makes this a subversion, as Jensen states that he picked up the habit because his newly augmented lung negates all the ill effects.
    • The announcement trailer for Mankind Divided has Adam puffing on a cigarette before mopping the floor with some brutal riot cops.
    • Bob Page is a smoker as well, possibly to give him more of an evil look. Pritchard is also a smoker, which can be seen by the pack of cigarettes on his desk.
  • Ryotaro Dojima from Persona 4 has this look in effect in his Social Link status window, and it does nicely complement his gritty badass detective look.
  • Solid Snake from Metal Gear was notable in that, back in his Heroic Mime days, the only way you knew he was a badass was because he had a pack of cigarettes in his inventory. In later games they drain his health as they're used, which would make them a subversion - if not for the fact that he smokes one after each boss fight in the first game, which boosts his maximum health and (inexplicably) item capacity. He also gets nagged by his sidekick about it, but with the mild subversion that he seems to get some masochistic pleasure out of the nagging.
    • And to see how big his addiction is, at least in Metal Gear Solid, Snake got his cigarettes by swallowing the pack and later regurgitating it (since he was not only stripped naked right before the mission started, but also injected with serums that temporarily stopped his stomach acids. This was a side effect of what they were actually supposed to do, but it did mean he could still, you know, smoke the things once he got there).
      • Funnily enough, this detail was overlooked in the novelization: Instead Snake simply steals a pack of cheap cigarettes on-site and spends the rest of the book complaining about their terrible flavour.
    • In the prequels, Naked Snake/Big Boss, Solid Snake's clone-father, is shown to be fond of cigars, and carries them around similarly during the game. So it's apparently a genetic trait. He claims to have picked the habit up from his mentor, The Boss. Ocelot, who became so fond of him, even learned to embrace this trope, too, especially in MGS4.
    • By MGS4 it's being used very clearly to show how much of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold Snake is and how little he cares about living; and, for the first time, he acts like an addict, getting moody when he can't smoke. And yet, by the end of his final mission... he quits smoking. He even says "those things can kill you". He now wants to live as much of his life as he can.
    • The kind of cigarettes smoked by Snake at any one point in the timeline pretty much entirely express his character at that point. In Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, he smokes a Bland-Name Product version of Lucky Strikes, stereotypical soldier's tobacco. In Metal Gear Solid he smokes a fictional brand (Moslems) designed to leave no taste or smell and almost no second-hand smoke. In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, they're still smokeless, but change to a real-life brand (Hope). In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots he smokes another fictional brand (The Boss) of hand-rolled cigarettes with 26mg tar each which he stores in a little box and stubs out in a neat portable ashtray, and, symbolically, cigar smoke is shown to make him cough. He smokes with the cigarette between his thumb and forefinger in 2 and 4, and between his third and fourth fingers in 1.
    • Raiden himself used to smoke, though he quit prior to Sons of Liberty. That doesn't mean the player can't make him smoke the cigarette pack that Snake gives him.
    • There's two Metal Gear games in which he doesn't smoke, both non-canon. One is Snake's Revenge, an initial attempt to make a Western-aimed sequel to Metal Gear for the NES that preceded the other sequels (where Snake was characterized as a heavy smoker). The other is Metal Gear: Ghost Babel, where he instead starts the game with a 'Fogger', described by the Item box as a "Device that lights up and emits smoke".
    • Almost every unique character who joins MSF in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker smokes, or otherwise uses tobacco products. Even Chico would have smoked if Snake hadn't taken the cigar away from him (he only gave it to the kid because he didn't have a lighter, anyway). Ironically, there is no usable cigarette option in-game.
    • Venom Snake in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain smokes an E-cigar, which dispenses vapours of wormwood to him. The hallucinatory effect advances time, handy for letting you do infiltrations of bases at night after scouting it out during the day. Would you have guessed it foreshadows his true nature?
    • Who's the one character seen smoking in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (and it's a cigar, no less)? Why, none other than the ultra-badass Rated M for Manly Big Bad Senator Steven Armstrong!
  • Resident Evil: Chris Redfield is shown smoking in the live-action intro of the first game, though it was edited out in the American version only to be added back in the director's cut. If you get his worst ending, he smokes his last cigarette as he sits alone in the getaway chopper. In the intro for his campaign in 6, he's shown drinking and smoking heavily while going through a Heroic BSoD, the latter only implied by the ashtray that is completely stuffed with cigarette butts sitting next to him. With that, it can be assumed that he's the "smokes to calm his nerves" type, or having fallen back into old habits to help cope with the loss of his team. He is also shown lighting up a cigarette after the events of the next game.
  • Final Fantasy VII's Cid Highwind chain-smokes like a maniac and still spears random monsters on a par with the Super Soldier who runs the team. He even lights a stick of dynamite with his cigarette in one of his Limit Breaks. His later appearances in canon (Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus) seem at first to imply he's given it up, since he doesn't smoke at all in the former, and his new character design doesn't have the pack hooked in his goggles any more. But then toward the end of Cerberus, he indulges in a victory smoke after blowing up one of the Midgar reactors.
  • Sergeant Johnson from Halo. Helps that by the time the games takes place smoking is not only harmless but cancer is so rare (and easy to treat) most people don't even know what cancer is anymore.
  • Tim Schafer games:
    • Sasha Nein from Psychonauts goes as far using his finely tuned psychic abilities to light his cigarette in his introduction.
    • Brütal Legend: Eddie Riggs deserves mentioning, even though he doesn't seem to get to smoke any of the cigarettes he lights...
  • Many characters in Bioshock, in deference to both its Ayn Rand influence and its time period. The main character is smoking on an airplane in the opening sequence, and given the look of the air so is everyone else, totally in-line with 1960. There are cigarettes and cigars everywhere on Rapture, where personal freedom trumps the fact that it's a closed environment with no ready access to fresh air.
    • Indeed, you can grab both cigars and cigarettes from the environment and smoke them, for a small boost to your EVE - costing you only an equally-small price in Health.
    • The in-game advertising for the Incinerate! plasmid seems to geared towards using it to light a cigarette as much as burning your enemies alive.
    • Ditto for Bioshock Infinite. Everyone smoked in the 1910s, and Booker's no exception. Elizabeth also picked up smoking by the time at Burial at Sea.
  • Smoking was casually wide-spread in Fallout 3 wasteland settlements, and there didn't seem to be any character consistency behind it. A look through the G.E.C.K. revealed why: almost every NPC who wanders will cross an idle-point where they will run an idle animation for smoking. It's interesting that these were all placed outside, which is why the Vault dwellers and Enclave are never seen smoking, neither are Moira or the Doc since they never go outside. Some players believe that Jericho smokes more if given cigarettes, but he cycles through the idle anim at random, though not as often as he randomly complains about there not being enough cigarettes around.
    • Cass and Boone in Fallout: New Vegas don't just idle on smoking, it's their full-time job from which they break from only to kill things. These are the two most Badass and jaded Anti-Heroes.
      • The antagonist Benny, who rolls with several 50's stereotypes of "coolness", is also a cigarette smoker. He is seen smoking in the game's opening and his lighter and some cigarette butts he left behind are important clues in one of the main quests.
    • While the player character can't partake of any tobacco in Fallout 4, several NPCs and many of your companion characters will light up and smoke a cigarette when standing idle. Private Eye Nick Valentine seemingly smokes for no other reason than the cool factor, as he's a Generation 2 Synth who doesn't have any organic parts like lungs (which makes you wonder how he's even smoking them at all).
  • The Spy from Team Fortress 2 carries around a cigarette case (that doubles as a disguise kit) and is often shown smoking in official videos, artwork, etc. However, as a result of his smoking, he snorts when he laughs, intentionally decreasing the cool factor.
  • Due to its film noir roots, almost everyone in Grim Fandango smokes. Lampshaded in the manual: "If you are offended by the amount of smoking in the game, remember that everyone who smokes is dead. Think about it."
  • Bill from Left 4 Dead is always smoking. When he dies, the cigarette is still in his mouth, but the fire on the end goes out.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • Inverted with Dante. He's as badass as you can get, but his creator intentionally made him a non-smoker, because he thinks it's cooler.
    • Ninja Theory, the developer in charge of DmC: Devil May Cry, showed Dante smoking in some early trailers, but he never smokes in the game proper.
    • Zigzagged and played for laughs in Devil May Cry 5. Nico rids herself of a demon crawling in through the window by stabbing it in the head with the burning end of a cigarette and then—while in a van doing a barrel roll—snatches another cigarette with only her mouth, which Nero lights for her afterwards. Nero then waves away the smoke and sticks his head out the window for fresh air and the game flashes a disclaimer indicating it does not endorse or promote cigarettes.
  • Baron Flynt in Borderlands has a doobie. It's medicinal.
  • In Mafia II, Vito Scaletta is shown lighting up in several cutscenes, as well as the other characters and various encountered non-player characters. One of the chapters involves a stolen cigarette truck.
  • In Touhou Project, the only character who even smokes in fanon is Mokou, a Mystical White Haired girl who plays with fire. For some reason, this smoking habit is derived from her mentioning tobacco in Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red, and fans took this as her smoking IS HOT. Not that this would affect her since she's immortal and can't be in anything but perfect health. The older characters are more prone to be seen smoking Japanese pipes, especially Mamizou and Yukari. In Hopeless Masquerade, Mamizou is shown smoking.
  • No one looks cooler with a cig in his mouth than Special Agent Francis York Morgan. It also makes time move faster in-game. So York literally just stands around for an hour, looking cool while smoking a cigarette.
  • In Red Dead Redemption, John Marston can be seen lighting up occasionally.
  • Likewise, in Red Dead Redemption II, Arthur Morgan also smokes. This goes beyond being cosmetic, as smoking a cigar is one way that he can recharge his Deadeye Core, albeit with the side effect of slightly damaging his Stamina Core.
  • Vanquish:
    • Sam Gideon smokes cigarettes, often at improbably awesome times (like when he's hanging from a ledge over an endless drop by one hand), and can even use them in combat - smoking a cig and then throwing it out from behind cover will draw the heat- and motion-sensors of the Mecha-Mooks, letting you get in a free shot or two.
    • The cybernetically-enhanced Colonel Badass, Robert Burns, also smokes heavily and can be seen lighting one up whenever you leave him idling at the end of a section for more than a few seconds.
  • Practically every protagonist of the Like a Dragon series (as well as it's spinoffs) is a smoker who always manages to make it look good. Kiryu in particular can not only light up a cigarette mid-fight as a taunt in certain games but also has a Heat Moves in which he spits the cigarette at an attacking foe to burn them and leave them open for a punch to the face.
  • Lost Judgment has a variation on this with Jin Kuwana, who vapes rather than smoke a regular cigarette but is still no less badass than the typical Like a Dragon character. Played with in the Kaito Files DLC however, where while Kaito himself is a smoker he's also opposed to the underaged Jun Sadamoto smoking and angrily snatches the cigarette out of his mouth.
  • Lindow Amamiya from God Eater is basically a super-soldier who is often seen with a cigarette in his mouth, especially in the anime.
  • Slayer from Guilty Gear smokes a pipe and just to show how badass he is, he blocks with the smoke.
    • Baiken is seen smoking a pipe in her pre-battle animation as well.
    • Don't forget Sol Badguy, who is often seen smoking cigarettes in promotional material. Well, the guy is a walking reference to The '80s, so...
  • Duke Nukem is now smoking as evidenced in the cover art and trailers for Duke Nukem Forever.
  • Some of the HECU grunts in Half-Life are shown chewing on cigars at all times, and in the expansion pack, Opposing Force, Engineers light their cutting torches with them.
  • The Illusive Man in Mass Effect 2 chain smokes. A lot. Fortunately, by the 2180s, cigarettes have been modified to remove all harmful substances. Illusive Man and anyone else who smokes in Mass Effect literally only does it for effect. Hilariously averted in one of Zaeed Massani's anecdotes:
    Zaeed: You smoke, Shepard? Don't. That stuff'll kill you. Knew a kid once, half your age. Smoked too close to a cache of explosives. Tossed a butt, blew himself sky-high.
  • Captain Price from the Call of Duty (and Modern Warfare) series. Even though he smokes cigars often, the most prominent point is that the first playable mission in Modern Warfare, "Crew Expendable", begins with him smoking as the SAS prepare to board the cargo ship, while the final mission, "Dust To Dust", of Modern Warfare 3 has him light one up right after he survives a helicopter crash and hangs Makarov. Soap has a cigar in "Modern Warfare 2" during "Cliffhanger", and the cover to his comic series shows Ghost lighting up too.
  • In L.A. Noire, every character smokes extensively (both cigarettes and cigars), except the protagonist Cole Phelps. If you stand around doing nothing, your partner will light up a cigarette. Of course, they're all members of the LAPD in 1947, so Phelps is the odd bird for not smoking.
  • Parodied in Steve Van Helsing: Process Server where the title character is a non-smoker but lights a cigarette at "particularly cool moments." He also wears a leather jacket practically all the time, even in Egypt.
  • It's never seen in the games game, but Yu Suzuki envisioned Sarah Bryant of Virtua Fighter as a smoker.
  • The protagonist of Sluggish Morss likes to puff on some sort of cigarette-type thing, apparently.
  • StarCraft II: Jim Raynor, Matt Horner, and Tychus Findlay all smoke big manly cigars, but Jim is seen to smoke cigarettes as well. He even has a pack in his shirt sleeve as part of his cutscene model. In the first game, Firebats smoked inside their helmets.
  • In the PC Engine CD port of Mad Stalker: Full Metal Force, Chico Rodrigues, the pilot of Hound Dog, is seen smoking during the intro and has a cigarette in his hand in his character select portrait.
  • Hojo Ujiyasu from Samurai Warriors is regularly seen smoking a clay pipe in cutscenes and is widely seen as a badass Cool Old Guy in the vein of Big Boss.
  • Jack Cayman from MadWorld has a cigarette seemingly permanently attached to his mouth. It stays planted firmly in his lips through all the back-breaking, decapitating, limb-severing, impaling, and frying that he does to all his enemies. In Anarchy Reigns, MadWorld's Spiritual Successor, Jack used to smoke, but he stopped out of a request from his daughter and his idle animation is him taking out a lighter and cigar before shaking his head and putting them away. He continues to not smoke ever since she was accidentally killed.
  • Sheriff Bigby Wolf from The Wolf Among Us smokes like a chimney. In fact, so do most other people; smoking is a major motif in the game, with many Dialogue Tree options revolving around it (e.g., lighting someone's cigarette to show kindness or affection, blowing smoke in someone's face to show defiance, etc). A major Running Gag is Bigby's habit of smoking Huff 'n Puffs, a cheap and notoriously crappy brand of cigarettes; he's apparently "the only one who smokes that crap brand." As explained in Fables, the comic series it's based on, Bigby smokes to dull his otherwise intrusively sensitive sense of smell.
  • Skullgirls: Patricia 'Peacock' Watson. She smokes cigars an awful lot for a 13-year-old (though to be fair she is completely mad). She's a huge homage to the Golden Age of Animation (see the Western Animation tab further down) who operates completely on Cartoon Physics and the Rule of Cool. Like Discworld Death (see Literature), she blows smoke out of her empty eye sockets in her victory pose, complete with a Bond One-Liner. As for the health effects, the cigars apparently aren't the real thing; she just does it because it looks badass.
  • League of Legends: As a part of his spaghetti western design motif, Malcolm Graves The Outlaw smokes cigars. And is most definitely Rated M for Manly
  • Enter the Gungeon has a pack of cigarettes as an active item that increases the player's coolness stat, while decreasing their health.
  • In Return of the Obra Dinn, we have Russian seaman Aleksei Toporov, who is usually seen but not IDed... except for two things: The only way he can be IDed is by the leather tobacco sack hanging by the hammock behind him that matches his ID number on the crew manifest, and when he does smoke with his trademark Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe on one rare occasion.
  • Victor Sullivan from the Uncharted series is a textbook example, being a Cool Old Guy with a charm, completed when he lights up a cigar.
  • In Wadanohara, Orca is such a badass that he is able to smoke underwater.
  • All the yankee delinquents in The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa smoke whenever possible. If you have a cigarette and Ringo uses it while next to another delinquent, he'll automatically light up the cigarette. Note that in most parts of the school, Ringo won't do it and instead, just flip a coin.
  • Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk has Keithgriff, your mentor and an experienced travelling alchemist who is often seen smoking in order to calm his nerves. He even takes a smoke break in the middle of his Limit Break before throwing the cigarette at the enemy through a portal, resulting in Stuff Blowing Up while he does an Unflinching Walk.
  • Disco Elysium:
    • Your player character thinks smoking is cool, associating it with the Cowboy Cop fantasy. However, from the perspective of the player, it's obvious he's an addict clinging on to the idea of smoking being cool to prevent him facing up to the fact that he has wrecked his health with his various substance abuse issues and ought to quit - his first encounter with cigarettes is experiencing an intense urge to smoke a discarded one right out of an ashtray.
    • Your player character's Volition points out, after learning that Kim only smokes a single cigarette a day, that giving up would be easier than that. Your player character's Composure might respond that Kim only remains a smoker due to a desire to protect his own coolness.
    • Klaasje fits the look of the Femme Fatale, complete with being permanently seen smoking. However, just like your player character, she has a massive range of destructive substance abuse issues, of which the cigarette is just another one.

    Visual Novels 
  • Subverted in Ace Attorney Investigations with hard-boiled veteran detective Tyrell Badd, who looks like he has a cigarette in his mouth... until he takes it out and it's really a lollipop.
  • Old *Mute of Hate Plus can't actually smoke, being an AI, but the thin cigars her avatar smokes certainly make her look badass.
  • Fitting with his image of a shady but effective informant, Ban from Spirit Hunter: NG is found smoking when he meets Akira at the Moon Tower for a second time.
  • Played for laughs in Fate/stay night. While none of the main or supporting cast smoke much if at all, there's one exception: The parody skits. In them, a crudely drawn Super-Deformed Tohsaka is always depicted chilling out with a cigarette in her mouth and is portrayed as the coolest thing ever. She even has her own equally crudely drawn cool car. The real girl doesn't actually smoke given that she's still a student and trying to maintain an honor student facade.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • '32 Kick-Up Helvetia has only taken a cigarette out of her mouth ONCE, for a single panel.
  • Mokepon features Atticus Brent, a normal teenager living in the Pokémon world and generally being confused by all the insane people and logic within it. He is also a chain smoker who survives mainly on a diet of cheap jerky and cigarettes. This is not an understatement, when he finishes a cigarette, he pops it into his mouth, chews the still smoking butt and swallows it.
  • Captain Jordan Lee from Skins is shown almost always smoking. She casually lights up in the Director's office (possibly as a sign of contempt when her boss questions one of Jordan's military decisions) and ignores a Non-smoking sign in a hospital ward and continues smoking around her comatose boyfriend. To be fair, he is a werewolf so presumably, it takes a little bit more than mere cigarette smoke to harm him.
  • The One Electronic, in Rice Boy, is a trench coat wearing ancient agent of God, who smokes. Never mind that he is a robot, and has no mouth.
  • Narbonic completely subverts this - the start of Dave Davenport's long, hard voyage towards being something more than "an awkward nerd" is marked by him dropping the habit of smoking, despite having always been (or not. It's complicated) such a compulsive smoker that if you took the cigarette out of his mouth a new one instantaneously materialized.
  • Mandatory Roller Coaster explicitly states that "teenagers are right" and smoking is cool.
  • Ronin Galaxy: Giancarlo doesn’t just smoke or chain smoke, he chain smokes cigars. Probably leading him to look Older Than They Think. Taylor points this out.
  • Three of the four main cast, and the vast majority of the secondary cast of Cry 'Havoc' smoke, nearly all are battle-hardened mercenaries so they tend to prefer cigarettes.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann fancomic DOUBLE K pictures Kamina with a cigarette in his mouth any panel he isn't actively doing something awesome.
  • In Silent Hill: Promise the protagonist, Vanessa Sunderland, smokes Lucky Strikes. The supposed cool factor is lampshaded.
  • In Homestuck, Snowman smokes from a cigarette holder - which is also sometimes a lance. See also Cronus Ampora, who keeps a cigarette on his lips at all times as part of his Greaser Delinquent shtick. However, despite that, it's made clear cigarettes are not something his species is familiar with, and he doesn't understand why you would light one on fire.
  • Used very briefly in El Goonish Shive. Mr. Verres smokes for two strips to establish his badassery then the cigarette disappears for the rest of the scene and is only seen once after that.
  • Elf Blood has a few smoking characters, generally to the point of Oral Fixation. Shanna and Carlita are both competent roguish fistfighters, while Gipsy is a malevolent, manipulative bitch.
  • In Wizard School Graham cuts class to smoke cigarettes - and then puts them to good use on snobby children who make fun of his magical scar.
  • In Moon Crest 24 Chris smokes, but not to be cool. In fact, he says he hates it.
  • In Rusty and Co., the princess. Though Mimic points out that monsters hunt by smell.
  • After minus. brings the Jerkass red-head ghost Back from the Dead, shenote  takes up smoking.
  • Mona Montrois in C'est la Vie is a French exile in Los Angeles. She sees no reason to give up smoking just because her American hosts abominate it, and this has led to clashes between her fierce French birthright - the right to smoke - and various annoyed Americans. Being French, her smoking makes her cool and louche.
  • Asa of Hotblood! smokes.
  • Wylie in Undead Friend is often seen smoking despite only being 17.
  • There's a lot of smokers in Dead Winter, but Black Monday Blues is definitely one of the coolest out there. He even weaponizes a cigarette!

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • The Agony Booth's Mr. Mendo is almost never seen without a Black and Mild. A cigar even features prominently in his portrait...
  • Smoking fighter is the best part of this video, despite the fact that he should probably be coughing up a lung.

    Western Animation 
  • The first two seasons of the 1960s animated TV series The Flintstones were co-sponsored by Winston cigarettes. Commercials were produced featuring the four lead characters (Fred and Wilma Flintstone, and Barney and Betty Rubble) demonstrating the virtues of the cigarettes. Starting with the 1962-1963 season, the primary sponsor was changed to Welch's (grape juice and jellies), and the characters — except for the occasional villain — were never seen lighting up again.
  • Futurama:
    • Bender smokes cigars. Lacking lungs or any organic material, he gets no negative nor positive effects from doing so. He admits he just does it to look cool.
    • Zapp Brannigan also thinks it's cool because "teenagers all smoke; they seem pretty on the ball!"
  • A few select first season episodes of Hey Arnold! had the Vietnamese neighbor Mr. Hyunh holding a pipe (but never smoking it, for obvious reasons). This trait was dropped in the rest of the series for the same reasons.
  • Brock Samson of The Venture Bros. (Useless Trivia Tidbit: Both "Brock" and "Samson" are name brands for loose leaf tobacco.) His habit has backfired on him occasionally, such as the time Brisby's bodyguard Mandalay spiked his cigarette with chloral hydrate.
  • Parodied in The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius with Nick, who is first shown sucking a lollipop in a fashion reminiscent of smoking a cigarette.
  • The Amazing Screw-On Head: Emperor Zombie takes this to the extreme when he happily smokes a professor of ancient evil texts (after vaporizing him) in a giant hookah.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Homer occasionally smokes a cigar or pipe trying to be "cool", Marge tried smoking like her sisters when she was a teen (she only bought one pack), Bart wants to smoke when he grows up, and Lisa once got addicted to secondhand smoke to help her concentrate on her ballet lessons.
    • Parodying The Flintstones cigarette commercials from its early years, the episode "Three Men and a Comic Book" features, as part of a back story, Radioactive Man (a superhero comic book character) advertising Laramie Cigarettes; acknowledging that the commercials helped entice children to smoke, Radioactive Man's sidekick Fallout Boy wonders if he too can smoke ("Not 'til you're 15!"). Another episode has Itchy and Scratchy advertising Laramie cigarettes, with Itchy suffering from smoker's hack throughout the commercial.
  • Word of God says a deleted scene from the Kim Possible episode "Truth Hurts" had Kim say this at a school assembly:
    Kim: Smoking makes you look cool. Yeah, it rots your lungs and stuff, but it looks cool.
  • In one of the later episodes of King of the Hill one of the reasons Luanne thinks Lucky is "cool" is because he smokes, but you have to consider back in season one an entire episode was dedicated to Luanne forcing Hank, Peggy, and Bobby to quit smoking because she doesn't want them to end up like her mother.
  • Subverted in South Park. After seeing an incredibly dorky school assembly on how "cool" not smoking is, the boys all take it up.
  • All of the Looney Tunes characters have done it or tried it.
  • The Tom and Jerry cartoons have them smoking most of the time, especially when with friends.
  • Roderick and Rhubella Rat from Tiny Toon Adventures used to smoke for this reason alone.
  • Inverted in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, when Sonic warns the audience not to smoke.
    Sonic: It's bad for your health, and it stains your teeth! So don't be a fool; smoking isn't cool.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: Many secondary/background characters, mostly in the first season, are shown smoking.

    Real Life 
  • Edward Bernays, commonly regarded as the father of modern public relations, conceived the highly successful "Torches of Freedom" campaign for the American Tobacco Company in the late 1920s, which encouraged women to smoke cigarettes as a display of emancipation from traditional sex roles. One of Bernays' most effective stunts involved enlisting young women to smoke while marching in the Fifth Avenue Easter Parade in New York.
  • In China, Korea, and Japan, you aren't considered a man unless you smoke. While this is becoming less of a thing in the latter two countries, China remains the world's largest tobacco market, where smoking restrictions are very lax and cigarettes are commonly exchanged at social gatherings, especially in rural areas.
  • Winston Churchill was often seen chomping on a massive cigar. He never actually lit them up, except for special occasions, but kept them around in part because he knew it made him look badass. There's even a famous picture of Churchill looking extremely grumpy because the photographer just snatched the cigar out of his mouth. (Oddly enough, Churchill was one of the last members of Parliament who actually used the complementary snuff. Smoking has been banned from the Palace of Westminster for centuries, and the snuff was provided as a way to placate smokers.)
  • Benedict Cumberbatch's photohoot for the LA Times. On Tumblr, fans of the actor went absolutely crazy for it, some even saying things like "I don't like smoking but he makes it look sexy."
  • The page image for Do Not Do This Cool Thing shows various famous people smoking.
  • Frank Zappa, who declared cigarettes to be a food. He died at 52 of prostate cancer.
  • The late comedian Bill Hicks was a voracious smoker and frequently invoked this trope in his act, even while admitting that smoking is terrible for you. He died at 32 of pancreatic cancer, which is not apparently smoking-related.
  • Joe Strummer, who once said no non-smokers or ex-smokers should be allowed to listen to music made by people who smoke. He died at 50 of an unrelated heart defect.
  • FDR is often remembered with his aristocratic cigarette holder. He died at 63 of a stroke.
  • Adolf Galland enjoyed his cigars so much that he had an ashtray installed in his Messerschmitt Bf-109.
  • Douglas Bader used to smoke his pipe in the cockpit of his Spitfire.
  • General, later President Ulysses S. Grant went everywhere surrounded by a cloud of cigar smoke. Until he died of throat cancer. When word got out that Grant smoked cigars, admirers and well-wishers sent him boxes of cigars by the carload. So many that he simply gave them away while having his secretary accomplish the thank-you notes. Interestingly, Grant himself often wrote that he feared smoking was having a negative effect on his health, and did his best to cut back.
  • Anthony Bourdain adored his cigarettes, until he had a kid and quit smoking.
  • Joseph Stalin's pipe became kind of his signature and a subject of some (rather somber, since he's the goddamn Stalin) jokes about him (see Russian Humour).
  • Tom Waits. Find any image of him with a cigarette and he'll look like a badass.
  • Kurt Vonnegut, despite being a writer, had all the badassness you need: mustache, Badass luck (he lived through the bombing of Dresden, one of the largest bomb raids during WWII) and smoked unfiltered Pall Malls all his adult life. What he said about his smoking habit? "It's a classy way to commit suicide". The irony in that he died of brain injury from the fall in his own apartment at the age of 84.
  • Ayn Rand was an avid chain smoker and considered it a desirable part of a heroic lifestyle, which is why all the heroes (and even villains) are heavy smokers in her novels. If you wanted to be part of her inner circle of friends and admirers, smoking was almost a necessity. Unsurprisingly, she developed lung cancer later in her life, though she did not die from it as is sometimes claimed.
  • Basically one of the two reasons candy cigarettes exist.
  • Morton Downey Jr.: "My fear was that I had spawned a generation of kids to think it was cool to smoke a cigarette."
  • Ron White, the famous comedian, shows on stage with a cigar in his mouth typically already lit, smokes it on-stage, and has a glass of whiskey nearby that he drinks from. Sometimes he'll use cigarettes instead, which often gets a positive reaction from the Genre Savvy audience when he lights one because it means a particularly good story or punchline is coming up.
  • Groucho Marx: An iconic smoker.
  • George Burns. Went on smoking till he died at the age of 100.
  • Bob Dylan, as seen here.
  • Nascar drivers David Pearson and Dick Trickle's claim to fame was smoking in their car. It was said that if you saw David Pearson smoking in the car you would be passed. Both drivers had cigarette lighters installed in their cars and made their helmets so they could get the cigarette in their mouth.
  • Formula One drivers James Hunt and Keke Rosberg were rarely seen out of the car without a cigarette. Both became World Champions during their careers.
  • Victoria Clowes, webmaster of Steve Jansen's photography blog, recounts how she got into smoking as a young woman in '80s England. She also goes into how David Sylvian denies ever being a serious smoker (note the unlit cig) and the habit possibly accounting for Mick Karn and Ryuichi Sakamoto's respective bouts with cancer.
    "Now, I am the last person to encourage anyone to smoke,...but when I sit here now and look back at all of these wonderful images I still can’t help but think that they all look so freaking cool. It’s sheer madness, I know. I’m not 15 and easily manipulated, but...well, take this photo of Mick, in a hotel room in Leeds, as an example. With the blonde shock of spikes and the filterless fag dangling dangerously from his jutting lips, doesn’t he just appear to be the most exotic and intriguing person who ever bestrode the planet?"
  • Anime singer Yukio Yamagata. An ultra growly voice given to him through chain smoking that he is very well known for.
  • Japanese singer Nagabuchi Tsuyoshi took up smoking to deliberately invoke this trope. Not in terms of a cool image, but in terms of a cool voice, since he thought his natural was too high and sweet.
  • Bob Marley. Smoked joints and is often used as a poster boy for marijuana. A large part of his fanbase enjoys his music equally because it promotes the use of weed. There are quite a number of photos that depict him smoking a joint. Bob also referenced smokin' herb and spliffs often in his music, including "Jump Nyabinghi", "Easy Skankin'"... but despite all that he was actually quite critical of people just being stoned and doing nothing to change the system. He even referenced it in songs like "Burnin' and Lootin" from Burnin' ("I must say: all them- all them drugs gonna make you slow/ It's not the music of the ghetto.") and "Pimper's Paradise" from Uprising, which is about a female drug addict.
  • Agatha Christie hated smoking, but it was so cool during her age that she forced herself to smoke two cigarettes a day for six months before finally giving up.
  • Deconstructed in one poster with advice for teenagers, asking them to imagine a little kid with a butt in his mouth, and saying that's what they look like if they smoke. It's a decidedly unflattering image that's meant to force kids to question how cool the act of smoking really is.
  • Mads Mikkelsen apparently looks so cool when he smokes that Hideo Kojima decided to change his character in Death Stranding from a non-smoker to a smoker, as shown here.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien was an avid pipe-smoker, and built smoking into his work even though Middle-Earth is supposedly a legendarily ancient precursor of Europe and tobacco is a New World plant. When he later removed references to New World fruit and vegetables, he left pipeweed in, and it even became a plot element in that one of the reasons Saruman takes over the Shire is that it gives him access to the stuff. (Saruman in the movies disapproves of Gandalf's smoking habit.) His favourite blend, Capstan Navy Cut Flake, is still in production.
  • Hunter S. Thompson was almost never photographed without a cigarette in arms reach, usually placed in a holder clenched in his teeth.
  • Monty Python's Graham Chapman took up pipe smoking at age 15. His characters on Python were often seen pipe smoking as well.
  • Bette Davis was a famous chain smoker, often up to four packs a day. She took it up in her twenties to seem more sophisticated as an actress. Vanguards and Chesterfields were her brands of choice. Even for TV interviews, she couldn't abstain from smoking. She once said, “If I did not smoke a cigarette, they would not know who I was.”