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Russell Crowe on Smoking Cigarettes, Setting His Pants on Fire (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Nov 11th 2010 2:45AM
Russell Crowe on Smoking Cigarettes, Setting His Pants on FireActor Russell Crowe is a tough guy. He fights, he drinks -- and he smokes cigarettes. On 'Late Show' (weeknights, 11:35PM ET on CBS), Crowe said that he started smoking at age ten. Whoa. The 46-year-old estimates he's smoked 18,000 cigarettes a year ever since then. 18,000 times 36 years is -- well ... we won't do the math for you, but it's a lot.

Now, Russell's trying to quit. He told David Letterman he kicked the habit five months ago, for the sake of his son. Dave was intrigued. "How did you stop?" he said, as the audience began to applaud. The actor held up his finger in warning. "You've clapped way too early," he told the crowd. Uh-oh.

It turns out he had sort of quit. Sadly, after a few glasses of wine the night before, Russell fell off the wagon and smoked. That's unfortunate -- but maybe we shouldn't be too hard on him. He is trying to quit, after all. And Crowe's cigarette addiction practically dates back to the stone age.

Russell began smoking as a schoolboy, before "disposable lighters" existed. So that he wouldn't be revealed as a smoker by having an entire box of matches in his pocket, he used to smuggle a few matches and a piece of flint into school, hiding them in his pants. Naturally, this plan went badly. As Crowe told Letterman, the mix of flint, matches, and polyester pant-lining was just too combustible and he quickly set his pants on fire, scorching away his newly arrived pubic hair. Ouch!

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Russell Crowe aside for a moment, I could just never understand why anyone in this country would start after the Surgeon General first officially said don't (the late '60s?). I mean if you started back in the days when people, including those in the medical field, actually thought it was good for you that's one thing but to start after it became blatantly clear that it's deadly, not only for you but for those around you, is just plain stupid. I'm sorry but I just have very little sympathy for smokers. And one of the things I hate the most about smokers is when they constantly complain about being broke. ??? Stop smoking a-holes! That would put at least another $3000.00 a year back in your freak'n pocket! Think of all the worthwhile things you could do with that money - take a vacation, pay off a credit card bill, make a mortgage payment, contribute to your 401K, tuition towards private school or college for your kid or yourself, and on and on. Get a grip and stop. Please.

November 11 2010 at 12:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I started smoking at 10 also, quit when I was 49.. I am now 52, and just had half of my kidney removed due to a tumor that was found by accident while looking for something else. Always though I was invinsible. No one gets away with smoking that long..

November 11 2010 at 12:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ed Baggett

John Wayne smoked 5 packs of Camels a day before his lung cancer......

November 11 2010 at 11:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I smoke cigarettes and have cut the cost dramatically by rolling my own. A $20 can of tobacco and some papers will do me for a month. In NYC cigarettes are around $11 a pack now. In that city Crowe would be spending $825 a month for smokes. Who but a wealthy man could afford that?

November 11 2010 at 11:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Russell Crowe is one of the best actors around in decades......His personal story alone, from poverty to success , is compelling... and he deserves respect for what he has accomplished. What kind of life (and parents) did this kid have, smoking at 10 years old??

November 11 2010 at 10:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kristy's comment

Russell Crowe is not only an amazing actor, musician, and all around good guy who happens to smoke, well, I also started smoking at age 10, of course living at home didn't provide me with the opportunity or finances to purchase them, so yes, I grew up with parents who smoked, so they were taken one or two at a time. This does not make my parents bad people, it made them parents.......Let us not forget that Russell did not grow up here in America and we shouldn't judge what other people or countries do. He at least is trying to quit & I say good luck doll, it's the hardest thing in the world to do. I've been trying for several years & I still can't kick it....yet!!

November 12 2010 at 12:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This guy is a MORON and should NEVER be allowed to be on National TV. He is a pathetic douchebag. I have never even heard of him and hope I never do again. We can ALL agree on that.

November 11 2010 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Robert's comment

Let me get this straight...you've never heard of Russel Crowe? Do you live underground?

November 11 2010 at 10:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You seem a bit confused, Robert. You say you've never heard of him, yet you say he is a "pathetic douchebag." You further say "we can ALL agree on that." That makes it twice that you have been wrong in only four sentences. Not a good batting average--at least for making sense. I hope whatever is causing this irrationality is short lived... for your sake.

November 11 2010 at 10:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

wow 18,000 cigs a year thats 2 and a half packs a day holy cow.

November 11 2010 at 10:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


November 11 2010 at 10:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My father started smoking cigarettes at the age of 7! And that was before low-tar, filtered cigarettes! He smoke Pall Malls. He had to do odd jobs like shoe shining, to support his habit.

November 11 2010 at 7:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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