Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Obama and Smoking

I am not sure why this is an issue, but apparently it is a big deal that Senator Barack Obama has "fallen off the wagon" and began smoking again, which when I last checked was perfectly legal in this country. But here is some ammo for the members of the American Cancer Society to whine about.

Obama Admits Smoking Cigarettes in Last Few Months

June 10, 2008 2:14 PM

ABC News' Sunlen Miller Reports: Senator Barack Obama told reporters in St. Louis today that he has fallen off the wagon and smoked cigarettes in the last few months.

The presumptive Democratic nominee has been open about his smoking past: Once a heavy smoker, he publicly gave up the habit, per his wife’s request, to run for president.

Since quitting, Obama has indicated in the past that he has “fallen off the wagon” but before today was not specific about how recent his smoking was.

“Months,” Obama said of the last time he has smoked.

Obama regularly chews Nicorette while not at campaign events, and the recent release of a doctor's note from his primary care physician indicated that it has brought him a level of success.

“His own history included intermittent cigarette smoking,” David L. Scheiner, M.D. wrote in a letter released to reporters. “He has quit this practice on several occasions and is currently using Nicorette gum with success.”

The release of a scant one-page summary for 21 years of care brought some criticism to the Obama campaign – especially when compared to the thousands of pages of medical records released by McCain. Obama promised reporters that if there are additional health-related questions, his campaign would make that information available. “In terms of additional records, if there are particular things that people have questions about, then we’d be happy to give that information,” he said.

This is not to say that I care. After all, one of our greatest advocates of temperance was President Warren G. Harding, who drank so much booze during White House poker games that many felt he was a borderline alcoholic. I do not recall Senator Obama running on the issue of banning tobacco.

What I find even more peculiar is that no one seems to care that politicians drink alcohol (a drug that kills almost 16,000 people on our roads every year). When Hillary Clinton downs some whiskey in Indiana, that shows she is one of the people, but if you cannot bowl or commit the heretical act of smoking a cigarette, apparently this is the new offense. It makes me wonder what people will care about 50-100 years from now. That our politicians eat fatty foods, drink caffeine, or have sex during the day? How about not screwing kids or prostitutes? That would be a good start.

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