A smokey view from the top
Who is the world’s most prolific smoker – and we mean of tobacco, not electronic cigarettes? Fodder for a barstool debate perhaps, but until relatively recently, a very good case could be made for President Obama. Yes, the laid-back Prez is famous for having been partial to a puff or two since his teenage years and several photos exist of Barack as a dapper younger man posing with cigarettes and blowing smoke from his nostrils.
During the 2008 presidential campaign he vowed to quit smoking for good and finally succeeded it seems. Earlier this year, Michelle revealed that he had quit the previous year.
“He’s always wanted to stop,” the First Lady explained, adding that the President had been motivated by a desire to be honest with his daughters Malia and Sasha about quitting.
Other heads of state have been noticeably more reluctant to forego their habit. President Benigno C. Aquino III of the Philippines, for example, has caused controversy in his country by continuing to smoke and failing to support anti-smoking campaigns.
Earlier this week, Oscar D Tinio of the Philippine Medical Association lambasted the Filipino President’s reluctance to quit. He told the Manila Standard Today: “What concerns us at the moment are the insistent rumblings pointing to the possibility that as long as President Aquino still smokes, the tobacco control program of the government, including our country’s international commitments on the World Health Organization-Framework Convention on Tobacco Control treaty, will be left out to rot in the abyss.”
Strong words indeed. Perhaps it’s time someone sent President Aquino a pack of electronic cigarettes?