Jeremy Clarkson quits 630,000, 43-year smoking habit
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Jeremy Clarkson has quit smoking after a bout of near-fatal pneumonia kept him from cigarettes while he was in hospital.
The 57-year-old Grand Tour and former Top Gear host smoked for 43 years, going through nearly 630,000 cigarettes, despite doctor's warnings. But after he was diagnosed with pneumonia earlier this month, he decided it was time to put down the lighter.
"I was told, by everyone, that I had to stop. Immediately," he wrote in a column for The Sunday Times.
He joked that people have told him to take up running, or give up drinking as a next step in healthy living.
He advised others trying to quit to go places where it's near-impossible to smoke, like the cinema, or Australia, where cigarettes are highly priced and banned in many public spaces.
He said it's helpful to have a friend willing to quit with you, and the key to staying away from cigarettes is "willpower".
"So now it's been a month. I've pushed it. I've got drunk. I've stayed up late. I've been to bars with smokers and sat outside in a cloud of their exhalations. And so far I haven't cracked," he wrote.
After his bout of pneumonia, Clarkson said lung tests showed he still had 96 per cent capacity for a person his age and he could "breathe out harder and for longer than a non-smoking 40-year-old".
"In short, getting on for three-quarters of a million fags have not harmed me in any way. I have quite literally defied medical science." Describing his ample stomach as "the product of hard work", he said: "I eat a lot but mostly I've cultivated it by sitting down all the time. Literally all the time, I'm now exhausted.
"I had to go for a medical the other week. They put me on a treadmill and described my fitness as atrocious."
The father-of-three has previously painted himself as a man unable to shy away from indulgence. He has claimed he cannot write his scripts without ample supplies of alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine.
In a newspaper column in 2014, he wrote: "I get tired pulling on my socks these days. So, if I want to live much past the end of next weekend [my doctor] says I must give up smoking, drink less, walk more, lose weight."
But in typical nonchalant style, he said of his role on Top Gear: "If somebody decides one day actually you really have got too fat or you really are awful then you do something else."
- Daily Mail