In this exploratory qualitative study, the views of a small group of mid-life, professional women who smoke were examined. Data were extracted using thematic analysis. Findings revealed a number of common, emergent themes: ‘being addicted to smoking’, ‘weighing up health and risks’, ‘smoking as a pleasure and reward’ and ‘being anti-establishment’. A second analysis extracted three broadly different ‘types’ of smoker: the ‘I want to give up but I'm addicted’ smoker, the ‘ambivalent’ smoker and the ‘anti-establishment’ smoker. Results were discussed in relation to possible health intervention strategies.