Keith Richards is ''drying out'' and has cut back on drinking.

The Rolling Stones rocker has been making changes to a lifestyle after December turned into ''one long party'' that saw him celebrate both his 75th birthday and his 35th wedding anniversary with wife Patti Hansen, but he won't be getting sober for good.

He said: ''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?' - heheheh - 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.''

The 'Sympathy for the Devil' hitmaker is also trying to quit smoking because it's a ''useless habit'' and is finding it harder to kick cigarettes than he did heroin.

Speaking to the new issue of MOJO magazine, which he has guest edited, he said: ''I have tried [to stop smoking]. So far, unsuccessfully! 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.''

Keith isn't a big fan of exercise and thinks running in particular is ''bad'' for people.

Asked about his fitness regime, he said: ''I get up. Ummm. And then, uh, you know, I sit down. I don't do none of this trotting around, I think it's bad for you. It's bad on the joints, especially on concrete. I don't go with that. It's just not for me.

''It works for some guys, but y'know, it's just... Mmm. Oh, and when I go to the islands, I do quite a bit of swimming.

''It's not a regime, it's just very nice to be in the water, and, uhh, you know... float about a bit.''