Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Obama Comes Clean

Signs nicotine control act, admits he still lights up.

The new anti-smoking legislation, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, prevents the advertising of tobacco to children and puts tobacco under the purview of the Food and Drug Administration for the first time.

In signing the bill, Obama was compelled by reporters to admit to his nicotine addiction during a press conference. "Look, I've said before that as a former smoker I constantly struggle with it. Have I fallen off the wagon sometimes? Yes," Obama said in an article about the news conference by Sheldon Alberts of Canwest News Service.

Typically, for a smoker who can’t quite quit, Obama defended himself by saying, "I don't do it in front of my kids. I don't do it in front of my family."

Obama was said to have convinced his wife to support his bid for the presidency by agreeing to give up cigarettes—a campaign pledge he has not been able to keep, by his own admission.

During the Tuesday press conference Obama compared his addiction to nicotine to an alcoholic's need for a drink. "I don't know what to tell you, other than the fact that, you know, like folks who go to (Alcoholics Anonymous) you know, once you've gone down this path, then, you know, it's something you continually struggle with, which is precisely why the legislation we signed was so important, because what we don't want is kids going down that path in the first place."

During the press conference, an exasperated Obama sought to turn the questions away from his own lingering addiction. "First of all, the new law that was put in place is not about me. It's about the next generation of kids coming up," he said. "So I think it's fair . . . to just say that you just think it's neat to ask me about my smoking, as opposed to it being relevant to my new law. But that's fine. I understand. It's an interesting human interest story."

Graphics Credit: obamasmoking.com

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