When he quit: The star of AMC’s Mad Men quit smoking 16 years ago, at age 24. For his role as the chain-smoking Don Draper, he smokes only herbal cigarettes on set. How he adjusted: Herbal cigarettes, says Hamm, taste “terrible… like a mixture between pot and soap,” but at least they’re a harmless way of conforming to character.
An expert’s take: Though herbal cigarettes are said to contain no nicotine or chemicals, Hamm isn’t getting off scot-free when he lights up. “Like regular cigarettes, herbal cigarettes have been found to deliver carcinogens to smokers,” says Cheryl Healton, Dr.P.H., president and CEO of Legacy. “There is some concern that actors who had previously quit smoking and who now use these herbal cigarettes on set are in fact at risk of relapsing to regular cigarettes.”
Note:Legacy is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to building a world where “young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit.” They offer a free quit-smoking program: Become An Ex.