Omega was sent to a zoo in Lebanon about a decade ago where he kept up his habit thanks to cigarettes thrown in the cage by visitors.
Animal rights workers with Animals Lebanon discovered Omega smoking in the zoo and organized the chimp's rescue. Lebanon has virtually no animal protection laws.
The 12-year-old chimp was anesthetized in preparation for his transport to his new home Sao Paulo, Brazil, and is said to be doing well. Before being rescued he had never climbed a tree or interacted with another chimp.
The Associated Press contributed to this story