Country legend Willie Nelson, who's known for his love of cannabis and even has his own product line called Willie's Reserve, has stopped smoking marijuana. Because of breathing problems from smoking so much over the years, he claims it almost killed him.

The musician, who still tours at 86 years old, says that performing live is one of the ways he stays in shape. "Singing out there for an hour is a good workout. Your lungs are the biggest muscle you've got," he explained to Houston's KSAT TV.

“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 admitted of his smoking habits over the years. “I started smoking cedar bark, went from that to cigarettes to whatever, and that almost killed me.”

The singer assured that he no longer smokes at all, and has been keeping a more conscious eye on his health in recent years. However, this doesn't necessarily mean the legendary musician had stopped his weed intake altogether.

A few months ago, however, his outlook was quite different. In an interview with Rolling Stone, the country icon was completely convinced that marijuana had saved his life, because it gave him an alternative to smoking cigarettes and even reduced his whiskey consumption greatly.

“I used to smoke two or three packs of cigarettes a day and drank whatever was there to drink and I had pneumonia for or five times, my lung collapsed, I almost died, so I said, ‘Wait a minute, I ain’t getting that high off of Chesterfields,’ so I threw out the cigarettes, rolled up 20 joints, stuck it in there, and I haven’t had a cigarette since. I haven’t drank that much either, because one will make me want the other — I smoke a cigarette, I wanna drink a whiskey."

"I wouldn’t be alive [without marijuana]. It saved my life, really," he confessed.

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