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Keith Richards Marvels At Having “10 Times More Wind” After Quitting Smoking

Rock's most invincible man is laying off the vices

keith richards quit smoking
Keith Richards (CBS Sunday Morning)
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    Maybe Keith Richards didn’t sell his soul to the devil after all. The Rolling Stones guitarist, infamous for surviving decades of hard drug use, recently revealed that he quit smoking after 55 years.

    “It’s funny, I don’t think about it much anymore,” Richards, 78, told CBS Sunday Morning. “Sometimes, you know, a bell rings and something inside says, ‘Hey pal, enough.’ I just put the hammer on it.”

    Richards — who allegedly snorted his own father’s ashes mixed with cocaine — has put down many of his party habits over the years. He quit heroin in 1978, and stopped doing cocaine in 2006. In 2018, he told Rolling Stone that he even cut his drinking way down to the occasional beer or glass of wine. Speaking with CBS, the artist said he stopped smoking two years ago with the help of nicotine patches, and that he’s had more stamina ever since.

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    “Luckily, I don’t miss it, and that makes me feel good,” Richards said. “Until I started rehearsing for the tour last August, and then I realized that I had 10 times more wind.”

    Richards also discussed his lifestyle changes in a recent appearance on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, noting he felt “a lot more air in the lungs and in the voice, more stamina.”

    Dropping all of his vices may read like an acknowledgement of Richards’ advanced age, but the artist insisted he wasn’t ready to slow down. The guitarist said he and Mick Jagger had been working on new material ahead of The Rolling Stones’ upcoming 60th anniversary tour, and said he didn’t see the band joining other classic acts like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen in selling their catalogs, as it reads like a sign of retirement.

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    “Mick and I have not spoken about it on a serious level. I don’t know if we’re ready to sell our catalog, might drag it out a bit. Put some more stuff in it. The only thing about selling your catalog, that’s a sign of getting old,” Richards said. “If I did that, I wouldn’t be coming up with an answer and then I’d be always thinking about it. Tomorrow? July the 5th, 2025? No, you can’t know. I’ll find out the hard way.”

    The Rolling Stones’ “SIXTY TOUR” will see the band celebrate their 60th anniversary in the UK and Europe from June to July. Following the passing of drummer Charlie Watts last year, Richards, Jagger, and Ronnie Wood will be joined by Steve Jordan on the tour. Tickets to the shows are on sale now via Ticketmaster. Don’t expect the band to play “Brown Sugar,” though: Richards and Jagger recently revealed they had retired the song from their live shows to avoid controversy surrounding its “Gold coast slave ship bound for cotton fields” opening line.

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