Arnold Schwarzenegger has admitted he smoked often to deal with feeling "like an ant" while grappling with political problems as Governor of California.
"I felt like an ant, there was so much happening with the [state's] economic decline, people losing jobs, that I wanted to pay full attention and sort of sprint to the finish line.
"I didn't want people to say it's a lame-duck session, blah, blah, blah."
Schwarzenegger confessed that he smoked much more often while he was in office.
He even erected a smoking tent in a courtyard near the governor's office.
"I smoke much less than I used to," he said.
"But one little cigar at the end of the day isn't bad.
"Legislators liked to pass anti-smoking laws. And then they would come to the smoking tent."
The action star has also waded into the film violence debate a month after the Newtown, Connecticut massacre, which has been linked to movie shoot-outs.
In a promotion stop for his new all-action film The Last Stand, he said people "know the difference" between movie and real-life violence.
Just days after Quentin Tarantino took offence to a UK interviewer's line of questioning on the subject, Schwarzenegger is speaking out and targeting critics who believe violence on the big screen encourages people to become vigilantes and killers in real life.
"Sane people know the difference... We have to separate the two. What's most important is that we, as a society, do a better job to prevent these sort of things. You cannot totally eliminate them. There will always be some crazy guy out there shooting. There are mentally ill people. The question is, what can we do?" he told USA Today.
"I wouldn't just go pointing at the NRA (National Rifle Association) that it's their fault. Or video games. Or gun manufacturers. The reality is, it's a very complex issue... It's mental illness. Insanity. If we don't address that, we don't have much."
But Schwarzenegger admits he was left stunned when gunman Adam Lanza opened fire and killed 20 children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School last month: "You have kids, so you just immediately imagine what it would be like to have kids in that school. You cannot even relate to it when something like this happens. How horrific it is for the kids."