Throughout his presidency, aside from being a secret Muslim, a secret Kenyan and a secret socialist, one of the accusations that has dogged President Barack Obama is that he also has a poorly hidden secret habit of smoking.
Obviously, in this day and age, no American president would ever get away with being an out-and-out smoker, whipping out a cig after the State of the Union address or even on a White House balcony. (In fact, there was some minor conservative outrage when President Obama moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, that he might be smoking up the tapestries and drapes.)
Obama didn’t conceal his post-smoker status (an exam earlier this year revealed that the President was no longer smoking) when addressing Americans today for the Great American Smokeout, citing tobacco companies he said “don’t want to be honest about the consequences” of smoking with Americans. Obama said:
“Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable early deaths in this country. We also know that the best way to prevent the health problems that come with smoking is to keep young people from starting in the first place.”
However, the White House’s interest in helping Americans quit smoking is not just intellectual. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius writes on the White House website:
…for those of you who are making the commitment to quit, you are not alone and we have resources to help you succeed. You can visit HHS.gov today to connect with a smoking cessation expert via IM or phone, use the online step-by-step quit guide, or sign up for SmokefreeTXT a texted based smoking cessation program. And under the Affordable Care Act insurance companies are required to cover recommended preventive services, including tobacco cessation counseling without charging you an extra penny out of your own pocket.
Have you tried to quit smoking this year, or do you plan to quit smoking? Do you think such measures will help?