Smoking Makes Obama Human ... If a Bad Role Model

Some worried a victory by Dem could set anti-tobacco movement back years
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2008 6:50 PM CDT
If Democrat Barack Obama allows himself to be seen smoking after being elected, "it's going to set the antismoking movement back decades," one expert says.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – If Barack Obama—an on-again, off-again smoker who says he's off again—fails in his attempt to quit, he could be the first president to enjoy a regular puff since FDR, who lit up long before the anti-smoking movement swept America. One watcher tells the Minneapolis Star Tribune the habit could make Obama “more human”—as it did for Martin Sheen’s president on The West Wing—but others aren’t so pleased.

One expert says if Obama is ever photographed lighting up, it could set back the anti-smoking movement “decades”—though some appreciate that he makes an effort to hide his habit. An advocate cuts the frequent Nicorette-chewer some slack, saying, “don't give up. You may quit on your first attempt. It may be your seventh. It may be your 17th.”