Quit Smoking? Yes We Can!

President-elect's struggle with nicotine could help others kick the habit
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2008 10:29 AM CST
Anti-smoking activists hope President-elect Obama will encourage the 21% of Americans who smoke to quit by quitting himself.   (AP Photo/Rob Carr, FILE)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama is about to become the nation's smoker-in-chief, and anti-smoking advocates are hopeful he'll become a powerful example for other smokers if he finally manages to kick the habit. He has quit several times but so far has always gone back to smoking up to eight cigarettes a day, reports the New York Times.

He refers to himself as an "intermittent smoker" and has been using Nicorette gum to help satisfy his cravings for a year, longer than recommended. Some 21% of Americans smoke, down from 28% in 1988. “It takes the average smoker eight to 10 times before he is able to quit successfully,” said an expert. Obama's transition team refused to answer any question about the president-elect's smoking habits.