Athletes 20 Athletes Who Quit Smoking  

People in Sports
132.5k views 20 items

We all know that smoking has terrible health repercussions, such as emphysema, lung cancer, and heart problems. These former athletes quit smoking to save their lives--and their careers. Several famous MLB players, boxers, and golfers have quit smoking. Some of these athletes quit smoking after photos of them enjoying a cigarette surfaced, while others quit after decades of public smoking. One famous boxer quit after losing an important fight.

Who is the most famous athlete who quit smoking? Alex Rodriguez tops our list. Alex Rodriguez quit smoking, but he still enjoys the occasional cigar. Tom Brady quit smoking after being caught with a cigarette in 2009. He also issued a public apology at that time. In the late-1980s, Keith Hernandez reportedly smoked two packs of cigarettes a day. He reportedly quit in the 1990s.

Ricardo Mayorga reportedly quit smoking after being knocked out by Shane Mosley in 2008. Ángel Cabrera quit smoking in 2007. He said, "I smoked because I wanted to and because I was addicted. It was a bad habit, not an aid on the course. Quitting has had no effect on my game." Bill Parcells quit smoking after he was diagnosed with heart problems.

Why do you think that so many professional athletes struggled to quit smoking?

Alex Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 20 Athletes Who Quit Smoking
Photo:  Arturo Pardavila III/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0
Yankees star Alex Rodriguez quit smoking, but he still enjoys the occasional cigar.

Age: 44

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Washington Heights, New York City, New York, United States of America

Also Ranked

#30 on The Greatest New York Yankees of All Time

#2 on The Best Athletes Who Have Used Performance Enhancing Drugs

#86 on The Best Baseball Players NOT in the Hall of Fame

#28 on Overhyped Athletes Who Still Performed

see more on Alex Rodriguez
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 20 Athletes Who Quit Smoking
Photo:  Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 4.0
New England Patriots QB Tom Brady quit smoking after being caught with a cigarette in 2009. He also issued a public apology at that time.

Age: 42

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: San Mateo, California, United States of America

Teams: New England Patriots, Michigan Wolverines football

Also Ranked

#74 on The Hottest Men Of 2019, Ranked

#56 on Celebrities Who Should Run for President

#2 on The Best Quarterbacks of All Time

#70 on People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

see more on Tom Brady
Randy Moss is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 20 Athletes Who Quit Smoking
Photo: Unknown/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0
NFL legend Randy Moss claimed that he quit smoking pot in 2006.

Age: 42

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Rand, West Virginia, United States of America

Teams: New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans

Also Ranked

#11 on The Best Football Players Ever

#2 on The Best Wide Receivers of All Time

#27 on Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

#2 on The Best NFL Wide Receivers of the '90s

see more on Randy Moss
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 20 Athletes Who Quit Smoking
Photo: Addesolen/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
Soccer star Lionel Messi joined a campaign to quit smoking in 2013.

Age: 32

Nationality: Argentina

Birthplace: Rosario, Argentina

Teams: FC Barcelona, Argentina national football team, FC Barcelona B, FC Barcelona C

Also Ranked

#11 on The Best Athletes of All Time

#7 on The Best Soccer Players of All Time

#61 on Celebrities You Think Are The Most Humble

#2 on The Best Current Soccer Players

see more on Lionel Messi