August 4, 2008 / 5:01 PM / 11 years ago

Shah Rukh Khan to quit smoking - report

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan smokes a cigarette during a news conference in Kolkata in this October 18, 2001 file photo. REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan has promised to give up cigarettes for the sake of his children, according to a media report on Monday.

Khan, a chain smoker for two decades, said in an interview he will kick the habit in two months — and it’s all because of his children.

“They don’t like me smoking. I see that as a blessing,” the 42-year-old actor was quoted as saying in an interview to ‘Malayala Manorama’.

“If they had no objection, I would have continued smoking.”

Khan’s love of cigarettes, exemplified on screen by his role in the 2006 film “Don,” has been criticized over the years, with his fiercest critic being Anbumani Ramadoss, the country’s health minister.

In January this year, Ramadoss urged Khan to quit cigarettes, at least on screen, saying that the habits of celebrities are an enormous influence on young people.

Khan didn’t heed the request then but he did have Ramadoss on his mind on Monday.

“The minister will also be happy when I quit smoking,” he told the Malayalam daily.

More than half of Indian men and about one in 10 Indian women smoke or chew tobacco, according to government figures.

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