No filters: Keith Richards swears off cigarettes as Rolling Stones prepare for 2020 tour

No filters: Keith Richards swears off cigarettes as Rolling Stones prepare for 2020 tour
Keith Richards said he is finally breaking his habit of smoking, and has not had a cigarette since October. (Time Life Pictures/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)

For years, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards got satisfaction from smoking cigarettes. But as the Stones prepare for their 2020 No Filter Tour that begins in May, Richards said his love affair with nicotine is all over now.

Cigarettes were always part of Richards’ persona, whether they hung from his lip while he menacingly played guitar, or when he used it almost like a prop to make a point during interviews.

Author Philip Norman said Richards’ raspy voice and laugh, “Still sounds like a thousand unemptied ashtrays made audible.”

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Now 78, Richards said he realized it is time to take of himself after years of hard drinking and drugs.

In an interview with New York radio host Jim Kerr, Richards said he has not smoked since October, New Musical Express reported.

In a new interview with Q104.3 New York’s Jim Kerr, Richards confirmed that he has not touched a cigarette since October last year.

“I’ve given up smoking ... since October,” Richards told Kerr. “Done that, been there.”

Richards said kicking the nicotine habit was harder than his heroin addiction.

“Quitting heroin is like hell, but it’s a short hell," Richards told New Musical Express during a 2019 interview. “Cigarettes are just always there, and you’ve always done it. I just pick ’em up and light ’em up without thinking about it.”

The No Filter Tour begins May 8 in San Diego and ends July 9 in Atlanta.