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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Obama and Smoking

The physicians who conducted President Obama’s recent physical exam reported to the world that Obama is still smoking.

Here’s how the Associated Press wrote it up: “The president's doctor recommended that he continue his efforts to quit smoking. The post-exam report indicated that Obama uses a self-administered 'nicotine replacement therapy' as part of this goal. He has said in the past that he chewed Nicorette gum.”

No indication of how often Obama smokes. Or where he smokes. Federal law bans smoking in Federal buildings, but provides an exception for buildings in which people voluntarily or involuntarily reside. This would appear to exempt the White House from the ban.

Gallup's data from 2009 shows that about 22% of all Americans reported smoking. Average smoking rates within some subgroups are higher than within others. Obama's demographic and political characteristics put him at odds with these subgroup tendencies in some situations, but in sync with them in others.

The biggest discrepancy for Obama comes in terms of education. Smoking decreases linearly with education. Just 7% of Americans with post graduate educations smoke. Obama has a Harvard law degree. His smoking puts him in the distinct minority category as far as his education is concerned.

Obama is married. Just 16% of married Americans smoke.

On the other hand, 26% of blacks report smoking. Obama is in the 30- to 49-year-old age category, among whom a slightly above average 24% smoke. Democrats are more likely to smoke than Republicans, 23% to 17%. (Independents are a little more likely to smoke than Democrats, at 25%.) Liberals are more likely to smoke than conservatives, 25% to 19%.

Obama can take comfort in the fact that the majority of Americans are sympathetic to the plight of smokers, most of whom tell pollsters they would like to quit. However, a few years ago we found that almost two-thirds of Americans think it would be justified to set higher health insurance rates for smokers. This is not, to my knowledge, included in Obama's healthcare reform plan.


Anonymous said...
March 22, 2010 at 4:23 AM  

would not vote for driehaus

Anonymous said...
March 30, 2010 at 1:03 PM  

Talking about being out of touch!

These figures are so far out. Not even close to the acuallity, so this is TV reality again! Not so real!!!

i.e research and you will find that over 48% of Americans smoke. The horror of this is most are under 18 years of age.

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