Ed Sheeran Celebrates One-Year Anniversary Of Quitting Smoking

By Victoria Kim 05/08/18
The pop star says he began smoking at an early age and worried that he was "getting to the point of no return" after hitting a decade.
Ed Sheeran

Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran celebrated going a full year without cigarettes on Saturday (May 5). He posted a photo of himself from a recent performance on Instagram with the simple caption: “Celebrating one year being a non-smoker today.”

The 27-year-old musician described the moment that encouraged him to quit  in a 2015 interview with Ellen Degeneres. “I realized that I’d been smoking for 10 years and that’s bad,” he said on her talk show. “I started smoking when I was younger and I’d always say, ‘I’m gonna quit. I’m gonna quit.’ And then, ‘Oh well, I haven’t been smoking for that long. It’s been, what, four years like that…’ And then when it got to 10 years, I was like, ‘Oh… I’m probably getting to the point of no return here.'”

Part of the allure of smoking was the routine behind it, Sheeran explained. “The reason I kind of liked smoking so much was just it was a routine. Do a soundcheck, have a cigarette, do a gig, have a cigarette, have food, have a cigarette.”

While he’s now smoke-free, Sheeran also caught himself slipping with “substance abuse” in the past. He said he recognized the destructive path he was on, and decided to take a year off to get back on track.

“All of the pitfalls that people read about, I just found myself slipping into all of them,” he said last October on The Jonathan Ross Show. “Mostly, like, substance abuse. I never touched anything. I started slipping into it, and that’s why I took a year off and buggered off.”

Instead, Sheeran “focused on other things,” he continued. “I focused on work and I can’t work under the influence. I can’t write songs under the influence. I can’t perform under the influence. So, the more I worked, the less [that happened].”

The musician also discussed drinking heavily early in his career in his 2014 autobiography Ed Sheeran: A Visual Journey. This was before he hit it big, when he was performing in small venues, working in exchange for beer and food.

“I’d drink at gigs and I’d be drunk on stage,” he recalled. “The guy at the bar who ran [the gigs] used to liquor me up to get into it. He’d bring tequila shots after every song.”

But the singer got some perspective one night after a fan approached him to tell him that his performance “was terrible, really disappointing.” That’s when he vowed to never drink before a gig again.

“I’ve worked my whole life to get to where I am, and you can’t loss that over something that you do in your spare time,” he said on The Jonathan Ross show last year.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr