Vinsmoke Sanji is definitely an interesting character in One Piece and Oda has made a lot of effort to actually shape him into a proper character who is not just a caricature or a template. Sure, he embodies some typical anime stereotypes, but he has a very interesting story, regardless of that. In this article, we will talk about one of Sanji’s habits – his smoking – as you will find out why Sanji is such a heavy smoker in the series in the first place.
There is no single explanation as to why Sanji is such a (heavy) smoker since he is seen with a cigarette in his mouth basically all the time. Some theories suggest that he did this to calm himself down, as he is still influenced by the trauma of him being stranded on the rock with Zeff, where he almost died of starvation. Other theories suggest that he smokes so that he can diminish his hunger so as not to feel the horror he felt when he was stranded with Zeff. Finally, the last group of theories suggests that he took up smoking to annoy Zeff and that he has simply become addicted to it in the meantime.
The rest of this article will tell you more about Vinsmoke Sanji, his story, his personality, and his habits, all because he is a heavy smoker and that he is practically always smoking. This is one of the series’ biggest questions. In this article, we are actually going to give you an insight into the issue, from which you will hopefully get to understand the complex rationale behind Sanji’s smoking. Some spoilers might definitely be present in this article, so be careful how you actually approach it.
The exact reason behind Sanji’s smoking is unknown, but certain facts certainly might explain it
We all know Sanji as the simping cook of Luffy’s crew, but he is a much more complex character with a complex and layered background; of course, since this article is focused on a precise issue, we won’t really explore his whole story, but you must know that as a child, he had to escape from his tyrannical father, Vinsmoke Judge.
His father wanted to experiment on him, after which he was attacked by Zeff’s pirates and then stranded on a rock with Zeff, where he nearly died from starvation. After that, he joined Zeff, and the two established the Baratie as a safe place for everyone hungry.
This doesn’t tell us much about his smoking habit, but it gives certain clues. But, before we actually analyze them here for you, let us tell you a bit about Sanji’s personality.
One of the most obvious characteristics of Sanji’s character is his calm and gentle manner. But, like Franky, Sanji isn’t afraid to show his emotions. In general, it could be said that a major part of his appearance is his “secret agent” look, which is visible both in hit clothing as well as his demeanor, and smoking is definitely an element of that.
He has the habit of unexpectedly separating from all the other crew members and intervening in times of need. He tends to speak very composedly, even in critical circumstances, and rarely acts without first thinking.
Sanji is also extremely intelligent, as he demonstrated when he tricked Crocodile by pretending to be Mr. Three or when he deduced that CP9 would take Nico Robin to the station, managing to get there before them. When events go as planned, and Sanji manages to predict them, he has a habit of exclaiming, “Bingo!”.
However, his greatest characteristic is that of being an incurable womanizer, so much so that he usually flirts with every attractive woman he sees and even claims that Nami was the main reason that pushed him to join Luffy’s crew. After the time jump, Sanji has become even more perverted due to his two years on a trans-formed island, acting even more strangely when he approaches people of the opposite sex.
Sanji has always been very gallant with every beautiful woman he has seen and given her a lot of attention. Even if he is not attracted to ugly or old women, he still protects them from danger, as he did with Kureha.
During childhood, he was educated in etiquette and manners by Zeff, who taught him to never, ever hit a woman. He manages to threaten one only when his companions are in grave danger, but he still fails to hit her. He hates people who don’t finish the food in front of them or who throw it away, not knowing what it means to be hungry. For this reason, he punished Fullbody and some members of the Kyoshiro family.
While most of his personality wouldn’t really indicate that Sanji is a heavy smoker, we have to consider the fact that Sanji has had a lot of traumatic events in his life, including the one mentioned last, i.e., the fact that he hates people who waste food, as he himself has experienced the trauma of starving and almost dying of starvation.
Although that happened when he was still a child, it is quite obvious that it still haunts him to this day, as a lot of Sanji’s actions are influenced by that trauma and some others.
This would mean that Sanji is in a constant state of stress, which makes sense, seeing how he was first exiled from his family and then almost died from starvation after being attacked by pirates. Less traumatic events could completely destroy a person, so you can imagine how deep these traumas are.
This is why one theory suggests that Sanji is constantly smoking to relieve the stress, i.e., to calm himself down, which would make sense, seeing how cigarettes do have that effect on smokers. Of course, he has certainly become addicted to them in the meantime, but he could use them for medical purposes.
A similar explanation is also related to his almost dying of starvation. Namely, cigarettes can also diminish someone’s hunger. Since Sanji has experienced actual hunger, this theory suggests that he started smoking to never feel hungry again, as the cigarettes would ease his hunger. This explanation is also related to one of his traumas and makes complete sense.
Finally, a third explanation also exists, and this one is a bit on the lighter side. Namely, this theory doesn’t really claim that Sanji’s smoking is related to his trauma but rather to his personality and his relationship with Zeff, which, albeit full of mutual respect, wasn’t always the smoothest. This theory suggests that Sanji started smoking simply to annoy Zeff, who ordered him not to smoke because smoking would make him a bad cook, as it causes problems with the senses.
Be that as it may, the reasons are probably complex, and while we wait for Oda to reveal an official reason, here is what we have for you.