26 Athletes Who Quit Smoking

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?