Despite a lifetime of notorious debauchery, the music icon is favouring a healthier lifestyle these days, having announced plans to give up drinking last year.
But it seems that cigarettes are the one vice that he’s really struggling to kick.
“I have tried. So far, unsuccessfully,” Keith told Mojo.
“Lou Reed claimed nicotine was harder to quit than heroin. It is.”
Describing the temptation to smoke, he added: “Quitting heroin is like hell, but it’s a short hell. Cigarettes are just always there, and you’ve always done it. I just pick ’em up and light ’em up without thinking about it.”
However, he’s still intent on cutting down regardless and is smoking far less these days.
“Lately, in fact – spread the news – I’ve managed to cut it down by a substantial amount every day,” Keef explained.
“I’ve knocked the hard stuff on the head. I have a little wine with meals, and a Guinness or a beer or two.”
It comes after Keith announced his plan to quit booze in 2018 – which received the approval of bandmate Ronnie Wood.
“He’s a pleasure to work with. Much more mellow,” Wood observed. “He’s open to more ideas, whereas before I’d kind of grit my teeth and go, ‘He’s gonna give me some shit for saying this.’ Now, he’ll say, ‘That’s cool, man.’ ”
Last month, Keith also confirmed that he’s still in love with touring – despite rapidly approaching the age of 80.
“You get up there and do what you love to do, and fortunately so do millions of others. It’s not something to turn your nose up at, you know.”