Boxing and Smoking

The combination of boxing and smoking is one of the most dangerous combinations that an athlete can make. Both activities involve physical stress on the body and can put a person at risk for serious health conditions. The combination of smoking and boxing can lead to serious and even fatal consequences, including respiratory illnesses, heart disease, stroke, and other conditions.

In this article, we will discuss the risks associated with boxing and smoking, as well as tips for avoiding them.

Table of Contents

a man smokes after a boxing session

Boxing and Smoking: is It a Good Idea?

The simple answer is no. Smoking has a number of adverse effects on the body, including reduced lung capacity and increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and other health conditions. The physical stress of boxing can compound these effects, making it even more dangerous to smoke while engaging in this activity.

Smoking and boxing can put an athlete at higher risk of serious respiratory illnesses, such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The smoke from the cigarette can also irritate the lungs, making it more difficult to take deep breaths while boxing. This can lead to shortness of breath and a decrease in performance.

In addition, smoking can impair the body’s natural ability to heal itself after sustaining a boxing-related injury. This means that an athlete who smokes may have a longer recovery time than someone who does not smoke. While keeping the fundamentals of boxing, such as proper technique and protective gear, in mind is important, it is also important to consider the risks associated with smoking while engaging in this activity.

Can You Do Boxing if You Smoke?

Yes, you can still engage in boxing if you smoke. However, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with this combination and take steps to reduce them. For instance, you should avoid smoking immediately before or after a boxing session. This will help minimize the impact of the smoke on your lungs and overall health.

It is also important to stay hydrated and keep a good boxing diet and eat well-balanced meals while boxing. Eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water will help keep your body well-nourished and better able to cope with the physical stress of boxing.

Finally, if you are a smoker, it is important to quit as soon as possible. Quitting smoking has numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of respiratory illnesses and other serious health conditions.

Do Any Boxers Smoke Cigarettes?

Yes, some professional boxers do smoke cigarettes. For example, Ricardo Mayorga, a former world champion boxer, was known to smoke cigarettes in between rounds during his fights. Also, Andy Ruiz Jr. has admitted to smoking cigarettes before his fights.

Nicolino Locche, a legendary Argentinian boxer, once said that “it’s not smart to smoke and box.” His advice is sound; smoking cigarettes while boxing can put an athlete at risk for serious health conditions and should be avoided whenever possible.

Tips for Avoiding the Risks of Boxing and Smoking

The best way to avoid the risks associated with boxing and smoking is to quit smoking altogether. There are a number of resources available to help smokers quit, including nicotine replacement therapies and counseling.

If you cannot quit smoking, it is important to avoid smoking while engaging in sports such as boxing. It is also recommended that you have regular check-ups with your doctor to monitor any changes in your health.

Finally, it is important to make sure that you are getting enough rest and drinking plenty of water before engaging in any activity that puts physical stress on the body. This will help your body perform at its best and reduce the risk of injury or illness.


It’s very hard to win a boxing match if you are also a smoker. Smoking cigarettes can have serious adverse effects on the body, which can make it harder to perform physically and increase the risk of injury or illness. While it is possible to engage in boxing while smoking, it is not recommended due to the potential health risks associated with this combination. Therefore, athletes should make every effort to quit smoking and maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to maximize their performance.