‘Deadliest Catch’ Star Sig Hansen Revealed How Being at Sea Actually Helped Him Quit Smoking

by Courtney Blackann

If anyone has worked on a commercial fishing vessel, they’ll easy come to find out that a lot of fishermen smoke. What with the grueling hours and rough weather, it becomes a coping mechanism to deal with the harsh life at sea. However, Captain Sig Hansen of “Deadliest Catch” said he was determined to quit the bad habit. He shares how being at sea actually helped him curb his need to cigarettes.

After a health scare in 2019, the fishing captain said he wanted to take his health more seriously. What stopped him in his tracks was a minor heart attack he suffered. The Northwestern captain knew he needed to re-prioritize in order to keep doing what he loves. This means giving up smoking in order to improve his heart health.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the “Deadliest Catch” star opened up about how he was able to successfully do just that. It all happened after a hospital visit where workers caught him smoking where he shouldn’t be.

“I was in the hallway smoking. They caught me. They chased me down the hall and they caught me. I looked like the biggest a—hole. They caught me red-handed. I never touched a cigarette after that. I’m thinking to myself, “How pathetic can you be? How much control does addiction have over me?” I never smoked ever again. Had I not been busted for smoking, I probably would still be smoking to this day,” Hansen says.

“Deadliest Catch” Captain Breaks Cycle

Hansen also shared that he’s slowed down quite a bit in recent years, even saying how the thought of being out to sea ‘scared him.’ But the captain was not going to let a bad habit get in the way of being successful – either in his own health or hauling in loads of King Crab.

“What I found interesting is how when I’m fishing, I’m so in tune with the work. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be on the boat. It’s worse at home. I’m a bigger a—hole at home than I am on the boat, to my wife’s peril. On the boat you are always busy, always working. I was able to get through it [without a cigarette].”

“Deadliest Catch” details the lives of commercial fisherman who take on the unruly Bering Sea in order to fish for King Crab. Each season beginning in October, several crews compete against one another to see who can bring in the most fish. Further, the show is about the changing cost of King Crab and how it affects the industry as a whole.

Each captain and their crew face challenge after challenge, whether it be personal issues of addiction, the rough seas, injury or scarce crab. All seasons are available for streaming on Discovery and Discovery Plus.