President Obama on Thursday blasted the
tobacco industry as being dishonest about the consequences of
"Today, some big tobacco companies are trying to block these labels because they don't want to be honest about the consequences of using their products," Obama said in a video message posted on the White House website on the "Great American Smokeout Day."
He was referring to a new requirement by the FDA that tobacco companies put warning labels with graphic images on cigarette packs. The rule has been met with resistance from tobacco firms and some are reportedly attempting to overturn the rule.
"The fact is, quitting smoking is hard. Believe me. I know," said Obama, a former smoker who quit in early 2010. "Today, 46 million Americans are still hooked. And tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable early deaths in this country," he added.
The president's latest physical exam conducted last month showed that he is "tobacco-free" and "fit for duty."
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