In the Mojo interview Richards notes, “By January 1, you're knackered. And that's a good way to start a new year, right? I'm drying out now! I've knocked the hard stuff on the head. I have a little wine with meals, and a Guinness or a beer or two, but otherwise, no. It's like heroin, the experiment is over. Mind you, if I meet you in a bar and you say, 'Do you want a drink?' I wouldn't turn it down! I'm not a puritan in these matters. It's just that it's not on the daily menu anymore.”
Richards is also trying to quit smoking but says it’s not easy. In fact he says it’s harder than quitting heroin. "I have tried. So far, unsuccessfully.” he notes, continuing, “Lou Reed claimed nicotine was harder to quit than heroin. It is. Quitting heroin is like hell, but it's a short hell. I mean, the actual process. Cigarettes are just always there, and you've always done it.
I just pick 'em up and light 'em up without thinking about it. But lately, in fact—spread the news!—I've managed to cut it down by a substantial amount every day, and I'm still working on it. Because I realised I don't need it. I realised it's just a useless habit. But hey, when you're 75, habits are pretty ingrained.”