Belfast Telegraph

Rock star Keith Richards cutting down on alcohol and cigarettes at 75

The Rolling Stones guitarist is trying to kick the habit.

Keith Richards is cutting down on alcohol and cigarettes (Yui Mok/PA)
Keith Richards is cutting down on alcohol and cigarettes (Yui Mok/PA)

Veteran rock star Keith Richards is cutting down on alcohol at 75, but says cigarettes are harder to quit than heroin.

The Rolling Stones guitarist became notorious for his lifestyle and use of Class A drugs, drink, and continual smoking.

Richards has said that after an indulgent December, in which he celebrated his 75th birthday and 35th wedding anniversary, he has decided to cut alcohol down to wine, Guinness, and the occasional beer.

The songwriter and musician has said that he is also attempting to cut down on cigarettes, but finds halting the decades-long habit harder than weaning himself off heroin.

Speaking to Mojo magazine, Richards said: “I’ve knocked the hard stuff on the head. I have a little wine with meals, and a Guinness or a beer or two, but otherwise no.

“It’s like heroin – the experiment is over.

“Mind you, if I meet you in a bar and you say, ‘Do you want a drink?’ I wouldn’t turn it down.

“I’m not a puritan in these matters. It’s just that it’s not on the daily menu any more.”

Richards has said that he refuses to exercise, only going as far as standing up and sitting down, and “floating about” in the sea.

He has said running is unhealthy as it is bad for the joints.

The star, who formed The Rolling Stones in the early 1960s, has revealed he is trying to be more health conscious by tackling his smoking habit.

He said : “Lou Reed claimed nicotine was harder to quit than heroin.

“It is. Quitting heroin is like hell, but it’s a short hell. I mean, the actual process.

“Cigarettes are just always there, and you’ve always done it. I just pick them up and light them up without thinking about it.

“I’ve managed to cut it down by a substantial amount every day, and I’m still working on it. Because I realised I don’t need it. I realised it’s just a useless habit. But hey, when you’re 75, habits are pretty ingrained.”

Richards is back in the studio with The Rolling Stones, and expects the band’s new album to be released this year.

The full interview with guest editor Richards can be read in Mojo, out on February 19

PA

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