Singer and activist Willie Nelson is famous for numerous pursuits, but one of his biggest popular culture claims to fame is his affinity for marijuana. So when the 86-year-old said in an interview that he quit smoking for health reasons, it prompted some very against-type anxiety among fans.
It’s true that Nelson told San Antonio’s KSAT-TV that he stopped smoking weed because he believes smoking has damaged his lungs over the years:
Nelson, 86, said “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.”
“I started smoking cedar bark, went from that to cigarettes to whatever,” he said. “And that almost killed me.”
It didn’t, so he made a decision.
“I don’t smoke anymore — take better care of myself,” Nelson said.
The news resulted in something of an internet panic. Celebrity news and gossip publication Page Six, for example, opened its report saying, “It’s like Michael Jordan retiring from the NBA. It’s like Donald Trump quitting Twitter. It’s like Lindsay Lohan forsaking drama. Willie Nelson has quit weed.”
But while Nelson did give up smoking to preserve his health, there are more ways to consume marijuana than puffing on a joint. Nelson’s spokeswoman Elaine Schock clarified for the Associated Press that Nelson hasn’t stopped using pot. She also hinted that his statement about no longer smoking wasn’t exactly a hard-and-fast rule:
His spokeswoman, Elaine Schock, told The Associated Press in an email Wednesday that Nelson hasn’t given up cannabis, and she points out there are different ways to consume it.
“That said,” she said “Willie does what he wants, when he wants, when it comes to smoking.”