Willie Nelson stops smoking, says it ‘almost killed me’

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AUSTIN, Texas (CNN VAN/KSAT) Country music icon Willie Nelson announced he is no longer smoking because of ongoing health and breathing issues.

Country music icon Willie Nelson says he is no longer smoking because of ongoing health and breathing issues. (MGN/file)

Nelson is known for singing the virtues of smoking pot and even has his own line of marijuana products.

On Friday, he spoke to CNN affiliate KSAT in San Antonio, where he performed.

"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, 86, said.

Nelson had to postpone the tail end of his tour in August because of breathing issues.

He resumed the tour the next month.

"I started smoking cedar bark, went from that to cigarettes to whatever," Nelson told KSAT.

"And that almost killed me."

Nelson's spokeswoman, Elaine Shock, told The Associated Press on Wednesday, however, that Nelson hasn't given up cannabis, and she pointed out there are different ways to consume it.