Willie Nelson Gives Up Smoking

After years of smoking, country music icon Willie Nelson has given up the habit. In a recent interview with KSAT…

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Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

December 2, 2019

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Willie Nelson; Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

After years of smoking, country music icon Willie Nelson has given up the habit.

In a recent interview with KSAT TV, the 86-year-old singer/songwriter revealed that he has started to take better care of himself after experiencing on-going breathing issues.

“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,” Nelson confessed.

“I started smoking cedar bark, went from that to cigarettes to whatever,” he explained. “And that almost killed me.”

Thankfully, he’s still alive and kicking so he made a decision to improve his health.

“I don’t smoke anymore – take better care of myself,” Nelson said.

Though he has experienced issues breathing while on tour, the Texas native said he has no plans to stop.

“I love the bus,” he shared. “This is my home.”

For Nelson, performing live is something he enjoys, just as much as his audience does.

“It’s an energy exchange,” he said. “They give me a lot of positive energy and I hope to give them a lot of positive energy.”

And as for those death rumors?

“I don’t give a (expletive deleted) I’m here, I’m glad to be here,” he told KSAT with a smile. “I’m lucky to be here.”

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.