Actor Michael Douglas was photographed smoking on a yacht last week – less than a year after “beating” stage IV throat cancer.
The Oscar winner appears on the new cover of Star Magazine and in photos inside puffing on what appears to be a hand-rolled cigarette July 21.
He looks tanned and relaxed in the exclusive Star photos, leaning on the yacht’s railing while traveling with his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones along the Italian Riviera.
“Are you calling about the photos, because we have no comment,” a rep for Douglas’ spokesman Allen Burry told the Daily News.
The Hollywood icon, 66, was diagnosed with stage IV throat cancer last August and lost 32 pounds undergoing intensive chemotherapy and radiation.
“I feel good. I feel relieved,” the actor told NBC “Today” host Matt Lauer in an interview in January, revealing that his treatment was a success.
“The tumor is gone,” he told Lauer. “The odds are with the tumor gone and what I know about this particular type of cancer, that I’ve got it beat.”
The “Wall Street” star was a longtime smoker before the health scare, and it’s no secret the addiction is powerful.
“It’s rare to return to smoking after something like this, but it’s an addiction akin to heroin. It’s a physical addiction, not just psychological, and very difficult to break,” said Dr. Eric Genden, a Mt. Sinai surgeon specializing in cancers of the head and neck.
“(But) it’s a bad idea. In patients with a history of carcinoma of the throat, smoking represents an exceptionally high risk to developing recurrence and even dying from the disease.”
It’s possible Douglas was smoking medical marijuana or another substance other than tobacco, but medical marijuana typically is used to treat loss of appetite and nausea while treatment is ongoing.
Most patients quit any type of smoking because it tends to cause a burning sensation on throat tissue damaged by radiation, Genden said.
“The whole point is, it’s a really bad idea,” he said.