In an interview with The Huffington Post, the former news anchor and Larry King Live host confessed that while he never took drugs, he was often led to desperate measures when denied cigarettes.
"The only thing I was ever addicted to was cigarettes, and I paid the price by getting a heart attack. But I understand addiction, and so I knew what it was like - whenever we did shows about it, I always felt a little sorry because I know what it's like to want to do something," he recalled.
"I remember, 3 o'clock in the morning in a snow storm in [Virginia], I woke up and had no cigarettes. And I couldn't get out of the garage door, and I walked 3 and a half blocks to a 7-11, with a blazing storm hitting me in the face. I went into [the] store, went behind the counter, grabbed the cigarettes, opened up and lit up before I paid for them. That's addiction."
However, he went on to reveal that he was finally able to give up the habit following his 1987 heart attack and subsequent struggle with heart disease, an ordeal which left him feeling sympathetic towards addicts of even stronger substances.
"It's an addiction I was able to stop because of a heart attack. I don't know if I would have stopped, because it's very hard when you're driven, so I have a lot of sympathy, I'm not angry at addicts," he said. "I know what it's like, I was lucky enough to be addicted to something that didn't affect my career because you could smoke at work."
King previously admitted that he struggled to cope with his departure from CNN and Larry King Live and now misses covering the news.