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Willie Nelson says he quit smoking marijuana for health reasons

The 86-year-old said smoking marijuana for years has taken its toll on his lungs.
Willie Nelson (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

SAN ANTONIO (KSAT/CNN) - Country singer Willie Nelson said he's no longer smoking marijuana due to ongoing breathing issues.

The 86-year-old said smoking marijuana for years has taken its toll on his lungs.

"I have abused my lungs quite a bit in the past. So breathing is a little more difficult these days that I have to be careful, I've mistreated myself since I was this big,” Nelson said. “I started out smoking cedar bark and it went from that to cigarettes or whatever. And that almost killed me."

But it didn’t so he made the decision to quit.

"I don't smoke anymore. I take better care of myself today than I did then,” Nelson said.

Despite rumors about an impending death, the 86-year-old said he's "glad to be here" and "lucky to be here."