Obama to Quit Smoking as He Enters Race

Barack Obama is making two big decisions this week: to file a statement of candidacy for President and to quit smoking.

"I've never been a heavy smoker," Obama told the Tribune, "I've quit periodically over the last several years. I've got an ironclad demand from my wife that in the stresses of the campaign I don't succomb. I've been chewing Nicorette strenuosly."

More from the Chicago Tribune, here.

Is this a campaign stunt? To get millions of America to join him and thereby become vested in his success? Probably not, but I could see it happening.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Good for him! (none / 0) (#1)
    by Gabriel Malor on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 02:45:15 PM EST
    On the smoking, I mean. I'm rather agnostic about his presidential aspirations.

    Barack Obama; Assassin of Youth (none / 0) (#2)
    by aahpat on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:15:44 PM EST
    Maybe Obama will have better success with his own addictions than he has with controlling the addictions of the nation.

    The drug warriors call this "success".

    Barack Obama; Assassin of Youth

    Barack Obama (none / 0) (#3)
    by barbarajmay on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 04:08:34 PM EST
    He's gotten some grief from the right wing talking heads about his addiction.  My guess is he wants to take that out of play, and to eliminate any potential "personal weakness" they an exploit.

    Because somebody had to say it (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by scarshapedstar on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 09:28:56 PM EST
    He should pick up a right wing-approved addiction, like Jack, coke (the other coke), gambling, meth, hillbilly heroin, sexytime IMs with teenage boys...

    Quitting is easy, ... (none / 0) (#4)
    by roy on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 05:57:12 PM EST
    ... I do it all the time.

    Seriously, I wish him luck.  I don't have much interest in him for '08, but I expect he'll make '12+4*N real interesting.

    Poor guy.... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 07:43:40 PM EST
    I know what it's like to have your special lady nagging you to quit...I don't know what it would be like to have every anti-smoking zealot and health-nut advocacy group on your case.

    I don't think the poor guy has a choice if he wants to run.

    Words of wisdom (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 08:32:53 PM EST
    If you put a three pack a day smoker on a desert island with no smokes and no way to get any...

    they wouldn't die.

    So no one should tell anyone they can't quit.

    What thet should say is, "I don't want to quit."

    Fine with me, but don't call me up telling me about the Big C and/or the Big E. You had to have seen it coming.

    I agree with that (none / 0) (#7)
    by glanton on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 08:43:42 PM EST
    And yet cannot seem to make myself quit.  I have been trying for a long time.  You are right.  If I were stuck on an island, no smokes, I wouldn't die.

    But my rhetorical situation is that the convenience store is right up the road and so there you have it....

    I haven't given up on quitting, BTW, not at all, I'm just venting.  I'll make it happen here eventually.  

    And I wish Obama well.


    Well, (none / 0) (#8)
    by Gabriel Malor on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 09:01:31 PM EST
    He might have a bit of a better chance, too, because he knows a potentially national career is at stake. Although, is smoking really going to be that much of a detriment for him? Is smoking less of an electoral detriment for old candidates than for young guys like Barack?

    Smoking (none / 0) (#10)
    by glanton on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 10:03:25 PM EST
    would be a huge detriment, hard to imagine a regular smoker losing just because of that habit, but it sure do hurt, as they say.  

    There is a somewhat-unspoken taboo against smoking today, a taboo that crosses the political divides pretty equally.  I mean just look at the television commercials.  And as a smoker allow me to cheerfully state that I think the taboo is a deserved one.  

    And your point about youth is well taken, a younger man running for President will be held more accountable as a role model for even younger people.


    Glanton (none / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 10:35:06 PM EST
    Having watched two friends die of the big E I can tell you that it is directly linked to smoking and that it is about as miserable way to die as you can imagine.

    If I could eliminate one drug it would be nicotine because it does its damage so slowly that by the time people catch on that they really have a problem, it is too late.

    There is a new drug out call Chantix that is having some fantastic results. It requires a Rx. You might want to give your MD a shout.


    Hey, thanks Jim (none / 0) (#12)
    by glanton on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 10:38:10 PM EST
    I have an appointment with the Doc coming up.  I will definitely ask her about it.

    You'r e right.... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 08:14:31 AM EST
    quitting most certainly can be done...you just have to want to quit.  My old man did it cold-turkey 6 months before he died after 40+ years of pack a day.

    Personally, being well aware of the health risks, I have no desire to quit.  I enjoy tobacco and am willing to take the risk, as hard as it is for some people to understand.

    I hope Obama is quitting because he wants to, and not just because of the outside pressures....or else I think he is doomed to fail.  


    Breaking the addiction (none / 0) (#13)
    by sphealey on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 07:09:08 AM EST
    With 4 of my 5 paternal relatives now dead of smoking-related lung cancer, I would greatly prefer that no one smoke, ever.

    However, having observed cigarette-addicted people at close range over many years, I have to say that I doubt very much that a person with that addiction could give up cigarettes and function as President of the United States.  The drugs in tobacco get too deeply entrenched in the brain by that age, and breaking the addiction while simultaneously taking up the most stressful job on the face of the Earth ... well, count me skeptical.


    Addiction (none / 0) (#15)
    by aahpat on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 12:26:31 PM EST
    is a genetic based disease.

    Tobacco is one of the worst.

    I heard a statistic recently but I don't have the source.

    50% of people who smoke tobacco try to stop each year. Of them 5% succeed.

    Tolerance and compassion for genetic distinctions among humanity would go a long way toward solving more addiction problems than intolerance and segregation ever will.

    quitting smoking is easy with laser therapy (none / 0) (#16)
    by lifesgood on Fri Feb 16, 2007 at 12:35:11 AM EST
    The cigarette addiction can be broke with as little as one laser therapy session.  I've seen 2-3 pack a day smokers quit in just an hour and stay quit for good.  People come in my office and tell me that they cannot believe how easy this was. For all the scepticals who think this doesn't work or they can't quit--do I have testimonials for you.

    The laser is all natural.

    Chantex and other nicotione products just put more chemicals in your body.