So Obama Has A Smoking Habit, What’s The Big Deal?

Commentary By Gilbert Mercier, NEWS JUNKIE POST

At the press conference yesterday, the press corp asked more questions about the current status of President Obama’s smoking habit, perhaps more than any other topics. This is a sad statement for the press, and America’s priorities at large.

As an on and off smoker myself for about 35 years, I know a thing or two about the pleasure and addiction that tobacco represents. In my case, I was quite literally addicted to nicotine from birth. My mother smoked when she was expecting me, but that was the mid 1950’s. At the time smoking was sort of cool and sexy.

Today, everyone knows about the great health risks coming from the use of any tobacco products. Tobacco is perhaps one of the most insidious drugs. It can be enjoyable at first, but quite quickly your system and brain circuitry become addicted to nicotine. It becomes closely associated with pleasures, such as a good meal or sex, but it is mainly a stress coping mechanism. It is insidious, any ex-smoker can have a relapse at any giving time.

I managed to stop smoking for about 5 years a few years ago. However, I own a house in New-Orleans. When Katrina’s drama was unfolding, I was in Canada. The amount of stress and uncertainty about my house took me right back to my nicotine addiction.

Nobody in their right mind can advocate for the use of tobacco products, but the crusade mentality of some anti-smoking Nazis today that is prevalent in America and in most of Western Europe is disturbing. Smoking has become a stigma and smokers are now looked down like social pariahs.

Americans are focusing on one product instead of looking into other factors hazardous to their health. Of course, tobacco is bad for you, but so is excessive consumption of read meat, fry food and all the products with a high content of sugar such as soft drinks. Nothing wrong with this “war on tobacco,” but then we should have one on fast food and soda pops.

In the case of President Obama, he apparently decided to quit smoking during the election last year. I am not sure if he succeeded, but it appears that he had a relapse. Should it matter to anyone else beside the President and his family? Absolutely not.

He has arguably the most stressful job on the planet. Smoking is his coping mechanism. In the case of Nixon it was drinking, in the cases of Kennedy and Clinton it was sex.To my knowledge, President Obama was not elected as “anti-smoking-advocate-in-chief.” As an historical reminder, Winston Churchill, the man who successfully steered the UK during WWII, smoked about 10 very big Cuban cigars a day, it did not impaired his judgment or even his longevity for that matter.

We shouldn’t be judging or care so much about this one issue that the president is “struggling” with after all, it is better to have a President with a brain that is craving a cigarette every now and then, as opposed to one with no intellect who couldn’t stop drinking until he found Jesus.


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