How to Make It Look Like You're Smoking

If you don't smoke, the occasions on which you'd like to look like you're smoking are likely to be few and far between. And wisely so. Smokers are increasingly becoming the pariahs of Western society. But, if you're an actor who needs to smoke on stage for a role, or you want to dress up as a smoking character for Halloween, there are a number of ways you can mimic the act of smoking without actually inhaling any of the toxins in tobacco smoke.

Place the cigarette between your lips, and raise the flame of the lighter to the tip while sucking on the filter.

Slowly blow out the smoke you've sucked into your mouth, and extinguish the lighter.

Take another puff on the cigarette, and hold the smoke in your mouth for a second before blowing it out without inhaling. Try to appear as relaxed as possible, as though smoking comes as second nature to you.


You can buy electronic cigarettes that give off a slight vapour when you exhale. These contain nicotine but not the carcinogenic toxins of tobacco smoke. Fake cigarettes are available from prop stores and joke shops, but they do not release smoke or look particularly convincing at close quarters. If you're asked by a director to smoke for a film or theatre role, ask if it's vital to the integrity of the story that your character smokes.


Smoking tobacco without inhaling can increase the risk of developing certain mouth cancers. Smoking has been linked to a range of terminal illnesses, pregnancy complications, skin ageing and cardiovascular problems.

Things You'll Need

  • Cigarettes or other tobacco product
  • Lighter
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About the Author

Michael Roennevig has been a journalist since 2003. He has written on politics, the arts, travel and society for publications such as "The Big Issue" and "Which?" Roennevig holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Surrey Institute and a postgraduate diploma from the National Council for the Training of Journalists at City College, Brighton.