In what has to be the largest show of chutzpah yet, President Barack Obama had some “less than pleasant” words for cigarette makers. He spoke in a new White House web video, posted on the White House’s Web site Thursday, November 17, 2011, to coincide with Thursday’s 36th “Great American Smokeout” by the American Cancer Society. Said Obama on the video, “Some tobacco companies are fighting new cigarette warning labels because they don’t want to be honest about the consequences.” He says the country has made progress in reducing the number of Americans who smoke, but added that 46 million are still addicted.
“The fact is, quitting smoking is hard,” he said. “Believe me, I know.” Obama has fought the habit by chewing nicotine gum, and his last medical report, issued October 31, 2011, said he was tobacco-free.
Companies, led by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Lorillard Tobacco Co., sued the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in August, 2011, to block the labels, arguing the labels promote anti-smoking advocacy. A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction in November, 2011, blocking forcing tobacco companies next year to put graphic images on their cigarette packages.
In the video, the Obama directs viewers to the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) website, which has links to resources that can help smokers quit and highlights government efforts to prevent young people from smoking.
BTW, this article (and its author) is neither a proponent or opponent of smoking. Its sole purpose is to highlight what a flip-flopper Obama has become.
But that’s just my opinion.