And now Fredie Blom of South Africa thinks that maybe it's time to just say no to tobacco.
In an interview with the BBC, Blom, who has government documents saying he was born in 1904, spoke of his smoking habit.
"Every day I still smoke two to three 'pills,' " he said, referring to local slang for tobacco rolled in cigarette-size pieces of newspaper.
"The urge to smoke is so strong. Sometimes I tell myself I'm going to stop but it's just me lying to myself. My chest chases me to have a puff and I'm then forced to make a 'pill.' "
In April, Guinness World Records named Japan's Masazo Nonaka, 112, as the oldest living man. The oldest woman, Nabi Tajima, also from Japan, is 117. Guinness told the the Washington Post that Blom is not being considered for an award.
"We receive many applications from individuals who claim to be the oldest living person (male or female) and see many reports about such individuals," a Guinness World Records spokeswoman said in a statement Tuesday to the Post.
"However, we ask for a great deal of paperwork and proof to substantiate claims that meet our official guidelines. We also work with various expert gerontologists and consultants who assist in the investigation of such claims to ensure our facts are correct."
But, she told the paper, that if Blom wants to apply, Guinness will work to determine his eligibility.
Locals, however, are sure Blom is 114. Sihle Ngobese, spokesman of the West Cape Department of Social Development, told the BBC that the fact the government had issued Blom an identity document that records his date of birth as May 8, 1904, is proof enough for them.
Meanwhile, Blom, who lives in Delft, a suburb of Cape Town, and worked well into his 80s, told the network he doesn't have any particular secret for his longevity.
"There's only one thing — it's the man above. He's got all the power. I have nothing. I can drop over any time but He holds me," he told the BBC in Afrikaans.
"I feel very healthy, I'm good. My heart is strong, but it's only my legs that are giving in — I can't walk the way I used to," he added.
Janetta Blom, his wife of 48 years who is 29 years his junior, told the BBC her husband had been to hospital only once, for a problem with one of his knees.
As for his smoking, Blom says it's outside his control. "I blame the devil for that because he's so strong."