Sunday, May 30, 2010

Suggested response for the President-Elect on the issue of smoking

President-elect Benigno Aquino III responded coldly to suggestions that he stop smoking now that he will assume the Presidency. Aquino basically said that he cannot stop smoking because his job as a President will be too stressful. Aquino's response was a wasted opportunity, not only to set an example to others, but to sound like a President. His response shows that he does not yet understand his role as the country's leader. As the President, Aquino should inspire Filipinos to overcome the challenges they face, as individuals and as a nation. Smoking is both an individual challenge and an international health issue. Instead of projecting the ability to overcome an unhealthy habit, Aquino disappoints the public by acknowledging defeat without the faintest effort. This is not the way to inspire a nation. He is obviously unprepared for the press' questions. As a result, he reveals traits that are uncharacteristic of good leaders.

Here is a suggested response to the press:

I recognize that smoking is a serious public health issue. World health experts have established the dangers of smoking not only to oneself, but also to others. I will do my part to join the worldwide efforts to improve our health by vowing to stop smoking. This is not an easy task, but I know that with help from my friends and family, it is one that I, and all Filipinos, can achieve.

I am not suggesting that Aquino should make an empty promise. I am suggesting that as the President he should stop smoking or at the very least, try.

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