Writer Christopher Hitchens has cancer

WASHINGTON (AFP) – British-born author Christopher Hitchens, known for his writings on world politics and religion, announced Wednesday he has throat cancer and will cut short his latest book tour to undergo treatment.

The television pundit and Vanity Fair contributing editor, who has tried to quit smoking in recent years, said he was suspending a tour to promote his new memoir “Hitch-22.”

“I have been advised by my physician that I must undergo a course of chemotherapy on my esophagus,” he said in a statement.

“This advice seems persuasive to me. I regret having had to cancel so many engagements at such short notice.”

The self-described atheist announced in 2008 that he had quit smoking, although he has reportedly broken his vow on numerous occasions.

Hitchens, who former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher labeled a “naughty boy” after he said she was “sexy,” approached US Special Forces in 2008 in order to be subjected to waterboarding, the controversial interrogation technique the CIA has used against terror suspects.

The one-time ardent supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq emerged from the experience by declaring the technique as torture and stating his opposition to the use of waterboarding by the United States.

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