The Quote Garden
 “I dig old books.”
 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Tobacco
and Smoking

NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.  —ღ Terri, March 2021

Here's to Lady Nicotine!
Saint and Sorceress and Queen!
Saint, whose purple halo rings
Lift our eyes from earthly things;
Witch, whose wand of scented briar
Transmutes dead weeds into fragrant fire;
Queen, whose rod her slaves adore!
What can freedom offer more?
~Oliver Herford, "To Our Lady Nicotine," Happy Days, illustrated by John Cecil Clay, 1917

I kissed my first girl and smoked my first cigarette on the same day. I haven't had time for tobacco since. ~Arturo Toscanini

I thought I couldn't afford to take her out and smoke as well. So I gave up cigarettes. Then I took her out and one day I looked at her and thought: "Oh well," and I went back to smoking again, and that was better. ~Benny Hill

One thousand Americans stop smoking every day — by dying. ~Author Unknown

There's something luxurious about having a girl light your cigarette. In fact, I got married once on account of that. ~Harold Robbins

Remember, if you smoke after sex you're doing it too fast. ~Woody Allen

Thank you for Not Smoking. Cigarette smoke is the residue of your pleasure. It contaminates the air, pollutes my hair and clothes, not to mention my lungs. This takes place without my consent. I have a pleasure, also. I like a beer now and then. The residue of my pleasure is urine. Would you be annoyed if I stood on a chair and pissed on your head and your clothes without your consent? ~Sign from Ken's Magic Shop

Tobacco is a harmful weed, the learned physicians are agreed. It stains the teeth and bites the tongue, and injures larynx, heart and lung, it spoils the whiskers, taints the breath, and sends man to an early death... ~Walt Mason

If we see you smoking we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action. ~Douglas Adams

If you must smoke, take your butt outside. ~Author Unknown

Smoke your pipe and be silent; there's only wind and smoke in the world. ~Irish Proverb

Little tube of mighty pow'r,
Charmer of an idle hour,
Object of my warm desire.
~Isaac Hawkins Browne, "A Pipe of Tobacco"

A good cigar is like a beautiful chick with a great body who also knows the American League box scores. ~M*A*S*H, Klinger, "Bug-Out," 1976

Much smoking kills live men and cures dead swine. ~George D. Prentice

If smoking is so bad for you, how come it cures salmon? ~Author Unknown

If an addict who has been completely cured starts smoking again he no longer experiences the discomfort of his first addiction. There exists, therefore, outside alkaloids and habit, a sense for opium, an intangible habit which lives on, despite the recasting of the organism. The dead drug leaves a ghost behind. At certain hours it haunts the house. ~Jean Cocteau

The believing we do something when we do nothing is the first illusion of tobacco. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are some circles in America where it seems to be more socially acceptable to carry a hand-gun than a packet of cigarettes. ~Katharine Whitehorn

For the first time in history, sex is more dangerous than the cigarette afterward. ~Jay Leno

Tobacco. Tumor causing, teeth staining, smelly, puking habit. ~Arizona Department of Health Services Tobacco Education and Prevention Program ad campaign, created by Riester-Robb Advertising

Tobacco is a dirty weed. I like it.
It satisfies no normal need. I like it.
It makes you thin, it makes you lean,
It takes the hair right off your bean
It's the worst darn stuff I've ever seen.
I like it.
~Graham Lee Hemminger, Tobacco

Nicotine patches are great. Stick one over each eye and you can't find your cigarettes. ~Author Unknown

One of the most pressing questions facing railway undertakings is that of meeting the respective needs of the smoker and the non-smoker in passenger travel.... In recent years there has been a marked growth of the smoking habit, and to meet changing conditions the Great Western Railway of England has just arranged for twenty-five per cent of its passenger accommodation in trains to be labelled "non-smoking," leaving the remaining seventy-five per cent available for ardent worshippers at the shrine of "My Lady Nicotine." This arrangement will, it is thought, be appreciated by passengers generally. It is not only the male smoker who has nowadays to be considered. There is also a large proportion of smokers among the fair sex, while many women not actually indulging in the habit themselves seem to love to journey in the more or less fragrant atmosphere of a smoking compartment. ~"My Lady Nicotine," in The New Zealand Railways Magazine, 1931 June 1st

You are all that's left. I watch your spark
And hesitate to crush you with my heel.
Perhaps you, too, resent the sudden dark
That follows flame. Perhaps you, too, can feel
The hurt that comes when one must be subdued.
Would you prefer to burn to ashes too?
Then burn. And I shall watch you as I brood —
I shall not bring the end of things to you...
Your case is too much mine. I know that I
Prefer to dwindle down to ashy dust
Rather than quench my fire because I must.
~Eleanor Graham, "To A Cigarette," in College Verse, November 1931

To smoke or not to smoke: I can make of either a life-work. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want? ~Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

"Will you smoke?" I ask.
"No, I have reformed."
~Charles Dudley Warner, Backlog Studies, 1873

Tobacco saps the land, saps the purse, and saps the man. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

There are two species of tobacco worm, one crawls, the other walks erect. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

I hereby solemnly resolve to give up the filthy habit of smoking:
– In powder mills.
– While chewing tobacco.
– While laying carpets and carrying a pint of tacks in my mouth.
– In any building where the danger of fire is enormous and a powerfully built redheaded fireman is watching me with narrowed lids.
– While reading the works of Henry James.
~James Montgomery Flagg, "I Should Say So: Four Easy New Year's Resolutions," 1915  [a little altered —tg]

On CBS Radio the news of [Ed Murrow's] death, reportedly from lung cancer, was followed by a cigarette commercial. ~Alexander Kendrick

The best way to stop smoking is to just stop — no ifs, ands or butts. ~Edith Zittler

The public health authorities never mention the main reason many Americans have for smoking heavily, which is that smoking is a fairly sure, fairly honorable form of suicide. ~Kurt Vonnegut

Thank heaven, I have given up smoking again!... God! I feel fit. Homicidal, but fit. A different man. Irritable, moody, depressed, rude, nervy, perhaps; but the lungs are fine. ~A.P. Herbert

For more information on lung cancer, keep smoking. ~The Lung Association of British Colombia

It's all one thing — both tend into one scope -
To live upon Tobacco and on Hope,
The one's but smoke, the other is but wind.
~Sir Robert Aytoun of Kincaldie, "Sonnet on Tobacco"

There's a lot of people who, a cigarette is about the only vacation they have. ~Trey Parker, mini-commentary on DVD South Park episode "Butt Out"

I'd rather kiss a mad cow on the muzzle than a smoker on the mouth. ~Paul Carvel

Smoking helps you lose weight — one lung at a time! ~"Alfred E. Neuman" (Mad Magazine)

TOBACCO  A nauseating plant that is consumed by but two creatures; a large, green worm and — man. The worm doesn't know any better. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Foolish Dictionary, Executed by Gideon Wurdz, Master of Pholly, Doctor of Loquacious Lunacy, etc., 1904

Of Uncle Max our chief recollections consist in going with our nurse to pay him a little visit every morning after our early breakfast, and before proceeding for our daily walk. This practice continued with little intermission for many years, from the time when we were too small to be trusted alone, until we were fourteen or fifteen years old. I can scarcely remember an occasion on which we did not find dear Uncle Max with a long pipe in his mouth, writing at a high stand-up desk; but the pen was laid down at once, and for half an hour he gave himself up to us. There was often a good romp, Uncle Max going down on all-fours and letting us ride round the room on his back, sometimes pretending that he was an elephant, and thereby getting a sly puff to keep alight his long pipe, which did duty as his trunk. ~A.H. Engelbach, Two Campaigns: A Tale of Old Alsace, c.1875

...cigarette smoking. The fumes are inhaled into the lungs, the blood is poisoned, the nervous system is affected, and the system is a wreck. ~F. J. Groner, M.D., "Health Hints," 1889

In a gathering of two or more people, when a lighted cigarette is placed in an ashtray, the smoke will waft into the face of the non-smoker. ~Author Unknown

I want so bad to not smoke anymore.... I don't like something having control over me, and I think that having an addiction to something is letting something control you — and I'm a control freak. ~Kat Von D, LA Ink, "Kat Tales" (season 2, episode 8), original airdate 2008 December 4th

He who doth not smoke hath either known no great griefs, or refuseth himself the softest consolation, next to that which comes from heaven. ~Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, What Will He Do With It?

CIGARETTE  A weed whose smoke, some say, should never be inhaled, and still more insist should never be exhaled. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Foolish Dictionary, Executed by Gideon Wurdz, Master of Pholly, Doctor of Loquacious Lunacy, etc., 1904

A cigarette is a pipe with a fire at one end and a fool at the other. ~Author Unknown

Please don't throw your cigarette butts in the urinal. It makes them soggy and hard to light. ~Author Unknown

Tobacco and alcohol, delicious fathers of abiding friendships and fertile reveries. ~Luis Buñuel

We do not propose here to blow an angry blast against the use of the marvellous weed.... We will not deny that soldiers in camp, weary laborers, tramps on the road, gentlemen of leisure, exhausted poets, and even preachers find a refreshing solace in the narcotizing smoke. If it shortens the average of human life a little, who shall say that it may not also render life somewhat richer in sensations and more interesting? ~C.F. Doyle, "The Tobacco Pest," Health Magazine, October 1899

Smoking is one of the leading causes of statistics. ~Author Unknown

A pipe smoker is more of a home man, it seems to me. There is no better picture of contentment than a man smoking a pipe in his home after the day's work is done. ~Anonymous woman, when asked why women like pipe-smokers, in a Larus & Brother Company Edgeworth advertisement, 1922

I'm glad I don't have to explain to a man from Mars why each day I set fire to dozens of little pieces of paper, and put them in my mouth. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966, © Thomas Paine McLaughlin

Our purpose here is to call attention to a single phase of the smoker's life, and genially to prick his conscience, if possible. We refer to his habitual and, we think, increasing thoughtlessness in regard to other people's comfort and pleasure. Many have become callous to all kinds of sensations; as for tobacco, we can be steeped in smoke for a whole evening, till our Sunday coats carry a stale and suspicious odor for days, and declare that no evil exists. But, there are two things about uncontaminated purity of which we are all righteously sensitive — our drinking-water and the common air of heaven. We will not permit anyone to run any taint into our water supply; so we say when we can get fresh air to breathe. The most advanced metaphysician does not want any one to set up a glue factory opposite his house. What right, then, we ask, has the smoker to pollute this same common air with the fumes of his weed? Is it tolerable that he should blow smoke into our eyes and throats on all the public streets? What justice has he to defile for us the pure air of the hills. Let him be assured that no one, except the selfish smoker himself, really enjoys having his ozone mixed with tobacco. We ask for a new and gentlemanly thoughtfulness and a measure of wholesome self-restraint, of smoking away from public observation and not giving needless offense by spoiling the pure air. ~C.F. Doyle, "The Tobacco Pest," 1898  [a little altered; #secondhand smoke, #smoking in public —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

I want all hellions to quit puffing that hell fume in God's clean air. ~Carrie Nation

I never smoked a cigarette until I was nine. ~W. C. Fields, 1940

Of course it is perfectly easy to give up smoking. One would not like to think that one has become such a slave to tobacco that one cannot do without it — a drug which weakens the heart, damages the nerves, gives you cancer and catarrh and so on. Personally I have given up smoking repeatedly. I have just gone out without any cigarettes and when people have offered them to me I have just said quietly and firmly, "No thank you," and lit my pipe. ~Punch, 1934

I've been smoking nearly 50 years now. I just don't feel safe breathing anything I can't see! ~David J. Beard (1947–2016), tweet, 2008 August 28th

Ods me I marle what pleasure or felicity they have in taking their roguish tobacco. It is good for nothing but to choke a man, and fill him full of smoke and embers. ~Ben Jonson, Every Man in His Humour

Cigarettes are killers that travel in packs. ~Author Unknown

Your clothes smell heavily of clothing. Your den is filled with low-hanging palls of fresh air. The only rattle in your car is the sound of toll change in the ashtray. The absence of telltale tobacco stains on your shirt collar tells the tale — you've licked the smoking habit. ~Robert Brault, 1973,

Tobacco, divine, rare superexcellent tobacco, which goes far beyond all panaceas, potable gold and philosopher's stones, a sovereign remedy to all diseases. ~Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy

The cigarette does the smoking — you're just the sucker. ~Author Unknown

It is quite a three-pipe problem. ~Arthur Conan Doyle, The Red-Headed League

What a weird thing smoking is and I can't stop it. I feel cosy, have a sense of well-being when I'm smoking, poisoning myself, killing myself slowly. Not so slowly maybe. I have all kinds of pains I don't want to know about and I know that's what they're from. But when I don't smoke I scarcely feel as if I'm living. I don't feel as if I'm living unless I'm killing myself. ~Russell Hoban, Turtle Diary, 1975

A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke. ~Rudyard Kipling, The Betrothed

Tio stepped to the counter and bought a little black cigar that was strong enough to do push-ups. ~James Street (1903–1954), "The Grains of Paradise"

Coffee and tobacco are complete repose. ~Turkish Proverb

To that daintiest siren of puff and perfume, a Turkish cigarette. ~Minna Thomas Antrim, "To La Cigarette," A Book of Toasts, 1902

Yes, social friend, I love thee well,
In learned doctor's spite;
Thy clouds all other clouds dispel
And lap me in delight.
~Charles Sprague, "To My Cigar"

Now the only thing I miss about sex is the cigarette afterward. Next to the first one in the morning, it's the best one of all. It tasted so good that even if I had been frigid I would have pretended otherwise just to be able to smoke it. ~Florence King

I used to smoke two packs a day and I just hate being a nonsmoker.... but I will never consider myself a nonsmoker because I always find smokers the most interesting people at the table. ~Michelle Pfeiffer

Forcing smoke down my lungs is pulmonary rape. It invades my body against my will, and it's not fair. ~Patty Young

Divine in hookas, glorious in a pipe
When tipp'd with amber, mellow, rich, and ripe;...
Yet thy true lovers more admire by far
Thy naked beauties — give me a cigar!
~George Gordon, Lord Byron, The Island

It is easy to quit; I have quit at least a hundred times. ~Author unknown

A custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black, stinking fume thereof nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless. ~James I of England, A Counterblaste to Tobacco, 1604

The best way to stop smoking is to carry wet matches. ~Author Unknown

Thank you to John C. Shepard of for sharing some of these quotations!

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Last saved 2021 May 08 Sat 12:30 PDT

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