Cher helped me quit smoking: Slash

Dec 30 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 12/30/2018 12:12:27 PM IST

 Slash says that watching Cher perform in concert helped him quit smoking nearly a decade ago.

The Guns N’ Roses guitarist has not smoked since 2009 and admits seeing his mother lose her battle with lung cancer, and a bout of pneumonia he suffered himself, made him realize he needed to ditch his habit for good.

“I quit smoking nine years ago, almost 10 years ago,” Slash told “WTF With Marc Maron”. “When I did it, I had pneumonia, and pneumonia is what helped me quit smoking. That, and I saw Cher the night before, and that’s when I caught the pneumonia. So Cher helped me quit smoking. Anyway, I couldn’t smoke. I tried — I couldn’t breathe — so I had two weeks on my back. So I quit, and then I used the patch to sort of get the edge off. Then I started doing the snus [smokeless tobacco] thing, and I was doing that for years. My significant other talked me out of doing it, and so I started doing the [nicotine] gum. And I sleep with the gum.”

Slash — who has two sons with his ex-wife Perla Ferrar — did not find it difficult to give up smoking once his mother lost her battle with cancer. “She was one of those smokers that always said, ‘I’m gonna quit one day,’” he recalled. “But while she was in the hospital, I would literally sit with her, go outside and smoke a cigarette, come back and sit with her. And then the Cher thing happened, and that’s when I said, ‘You know what?’”

Slash, who has been open about his previous battles with drugs and alcohol, went on to say that staying smoke-free is “tough.” He explained: “You’ve got these triggers all the time. They only last for maybe two seconds or so, but they’re really, really potent. And you can just get it watching somebody smoke on TV. I saw somebody smoking at a bus stop, and I said, ‘Ohhh…’ It happens at least once a day every day.”

Slash, who had a 60-cigarette-a-day habit, described himself as “a compulsive smoker. I chainsmoked,” he said. “And I couldn’t handle — this is not why I quit smoking — but I couldn’t handle not being able to smoke wherever I wanted.

Slash said that his cigarette habit affected his live performances, especially after a smoking ban was introduced in enclosed work places in the U.K. back in 2007. Back in 2010, Slash said that he quit smoking once before, only to start lighting up again. “The first time I quit smoking was because me and my wife just had a baby and she claimed the baby smelled like an ashtray,” he said. “So I thought, ‘Well, I’ll give it a shot.’ So I quit for a year and then I started again.”



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