Willie Nelson has revealed that he’s stopped smoking marijuana due to health concerns, explaining that his habit “almost killed [him]”.
The 86-year-old US musician, who has cancelled a number of shows in recent years over breathing issues, was in conversation with Houston’s KSAT TV when he discussed giving up weed.
“I have abused my lungs quite a bit in the past, so breathing is a little more difficult these days and I have to be careful,” he said.
“I started smoking cedar bark, went from that to cigarettes to whatever. And that almost killed me.”
Having also kicked his cigarette habit, the ‘On The Road Again’ star told the station he’s now given up smoking altogether.
“I don’t smoke anymore – I take better care of myself,” Nelson said.
Pressed on the rumours of his worsening ill health, the singer replied: “I don’t give a fuck. I’m here, I’m glad to be here. I’m lucky to be here.”
During a live show in January 2018, Nelson was forced to abandon his set after performing opening track ‘Whiskey River’. Reports at the time claimed he’d been “coughing and apparently experiencing some difficulty breathing as he left the stage.”
He was scheduled to play further gigs in Palm Springs, Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nevada the following week, but all the dates were shelved.
In summer 2017, Nelson once again had to cut a concert short after experiencing breathing problems.