'World's Oldest Man' Is 114 Years Old, Smokes Every Day

In early May, Fredie Blom's celebrated his 114th birthday, a feat that may make him the world's oldest living man — although official verification is still needed. In a recent interview with the BBC, Blom shared no particular secrets to his longevity and instead confessed to still be a lifetime daily smoker.

The previous oldest living individual was Violet Moss-Brown, and the Jamaican held the title until September 2017 when she passed away at 117 years old, the BBC reported. However, since Moss-Brown's passing, the Guinness World of Records has yet to verify who now holds the title, but Blom is believed to be qualify as the world's oldest living man.

Blom was born on May 8, 1904 in Adelaide, South Africa, a rural town in the Eastern Cape province. The centenarian has no special words of advice or explanation for his old age, and although he no longer drinks alcohol, Blom continues to smoke tobacco.

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Fredie Blom is still a regular smoker. An unidentified man takes a drag from a cigarette. Yasser Al-Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images

"Every day I still smoke two to three 'pills',"—local slang for tobacco tightly rolled into a cigarette-length piece of newspaper—Blom told the BBC in Afrikaans. "I use my own tobacco because I don't smoke cigarettes."

Blom is what is known as a supercentenarian, a word used to describe someone who has lived past their 110th birthday. This feat is incredibly rare and according to U.S. Health, there are only about 300 worldwide at any given moment. In addition to being rare, supercentenarians also have another trait in common—no particular explanation for their extreme age. Few supercentenarians admit to living extremely healthy lives. In fact many are similar to Blom in their confessions to drinking and smoking. Rather, experts believe the secret to extreme age is mostly genetic. For this reason, the odd elderly person who is able to smoke well into old age with little to no health consequences does not stand as proof that smoking is good for your health. In fact, a 2015 study suggested a very rare genetic mutation may protect some smokers from never getting sick, although not give completely immunity, The Independent reported. However, the majority of the population does not have this natural protection.

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Blom's wife of 48 years, Janetta, told the BBC that her husband's diet is not particularly noteworthy, and consists of both meat and vegetables with nearly every meal. Rather, Blom explained that his old age is owed to his religious faith.

"There's only one thing—it's the man above [God]. He's got all the power," said Blom. "I have nothing. I can drop over any time but He holds me."

Born into pre-Apartheid South Africa, Blom, is a true reminder of a time few can remember. He is black African and was not able to attend school as a child. As a result he is illiterate and spent the majority of his life as a farm worker

Although he may still have to wait some time before Guinness World of Records officially bestows Blom with the title of the oldest living man, his town already considers Blom to be a local celebrity and celebrated his most recent birthday with numerous cakes.