In what could be music to Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss' ears, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has said he is planning to quit smoking in a couple of months as his children hate the habit.
He revealed this while talking to Malayala Manorama on the sets of his latest film Billu Barber, directed by Priayadarsan, at Pollachi in Tamil Nadu.
"I am giving up smoking under persuasion from my children. They don't like the habit. If they did not have any objection I might have continued smoking. I consider their pressure as a blessing," he said.
"I thought of quitting smoking first while flying back from a foreign trip. That was non-stop flying for 17 hours. I did not feel restless at all when I landed in Mumbai. I felt like lighting a cigarette only when I got in my car. That too was just a feeling," the actor said.
Khan, who started smoking 22 years back, was confident he would be able to stop the habit, which has been with him for 20 years.
The actor's smoking had seen a war of words between him and Ramadoss with the latter criticising him on several occasions for his habit.
Ramadoss had often said Shah Rukh's habit of smoking in public has set up a bad precedent for youngsters. The minister had earlier made a request to Shah Rukh as well as other actors not to smoke in their films.
Ramadoss wanted Khan to stop smoking in public when he found the actor puffing in a stadium during a 20-20 cricket match. The actor's reaction then was that no one should interfere in his personal affairs.
Billu Barber is the Hindi version of Malayalam hit Kathaparayumbol, which has been rendered in Tamil as Kuchelan.