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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Does It Matter How Much Obama Smoked?

Hey World,
I have just read an article from Politico by Jeff Stier. In it, Stier says that he thinks just because Obama has stopped smoking, it does not mean that the Democratic presidential candidate has a clean bill of health. It is interesting how Stier stresses to his readers that he is not making "...an appeal to puritanical values — nor an endorsement of a candidate." Basically, Stier is using Obama as an example of the harmful effects of smoking, even if it has been years since a person has smoked.

I, for one, personally liked the article because I think that smoking is a disgusting habit, and I also liked how Stier used it to critique, rather than criticize Obama. Some may still ask Stier why it matters when Obama stopped smoking and what Obama's smoking habit has to do with anything, but this is a presidential race where everyone seems to be concerned about the physical health of the candidates. Lately, there seems to be some controversy as to whether or not John McCain is too old to run for office. I see the Obama thing in a similar way. Sure, he's not as old as McCain, and sure, Obama says that he does his best not to overeat and to stay active, but as a former smoker, Obama is still at risk of being prone to smoking-related diseases.

To be fair to Obama, he is trying to be healthy, and that is great, but it doesn't mean that he is out of the woods disease-wise. Let this be a lesson to smokers everywhere. I don't want to sound preachy, but it is your own lives to lead. Just be mindful of the consequences whenever you pick up that cigarette. That's all.

1 comment:

Paul said...

I am amazed that this has gotten any press attention at all. Though the point that Stier raises is accurate, it doesn't mean anything.

For an individual, statistics don't mean much. If you have a 1 in a googolplex chance of contracting a disease, does that matter when you are that one? Statistics are useful only for large populations.

Smoking is a unhealthy activity, one of many that both Barak and McCain are guilty of. We can't change the past, only the future. Barak has done this. Why pigeon hole Barak into doomed health because he used to be a smoker?

Let's be mindful of all the unhealthy activities that we engage in. The next time we reach for a diet soda using the latest artificial sweetener dreamed up in a lab with no long term health effect studies, just grab the water. We never know when people will crucify us for it should someday we decide to run for president.