Anti-smoking advocates are looking for President Barack Obama to provide “a teachable moment” and become a national role model through his efforts to quit smoking.
Cheryl Healton, president of the American Legacy Foundation, said that Obama is “in a
position to help people understand that’s it’s difficult to quit, and to encourage the 43 million
adult Americans who smoke to join him in his efforts."
Obama’s recent admission that he has occasionally faltered in his quit attempt has provoked responses around the country.
Invoking the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, the Philadelphia Inquirer editorialized that “we hope, the president-elect with the loving encouragement of his wife and two daughters, no doubt set an example that will lead him and other Americans to healthier living”.
“He’s shown a firm commitment to beat this addiction,” said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.
It takes courage to admit failure, but even more courage to pledge to succeed.
Studies show it takes four to six attempts for a typical smoker to quit. Smoking is not just a nasty habit – as Mr. Obama has shown, smoking is a chemical dependency that takes more than willpower to give up. Smokers face a long list of health risks including heart disease, lung and breathing problems, stroke and diabetes and cancer.
Climb on board President Obama’s anti-smoking campaign. It’s a bipartisan effort we can all live with.
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