Obama to Aquino: 'I'll Help You Quit Smoking'

Story tools

A A AResize


If President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III ever decides to quit smoking, he can turn to one of the world's most powerful leaders, President Barack Obama, for advice.

Aquino said he and Obama, a smoker who is also trying to quit the habit, briefly talked about the issue when the U.S. President congratulated him over the phone Wednesday night.

"At some point I attempted some humor, sabi ko (I told him) 'Mr. President, I understand we have the same issue with smoking.' Sabi niya (He told me), 'Well, I quit that already. I quit, it's your sole problem but I'm ready to offer advice,'" recalled Aquino.

Obama is known to be waging a public battle against smoking ever since he was elected president January last year. By his own admission, Obama has slipped several times and enjoyed an occasional cigarette.

Obama called up Aquino a few hours after Congress proclaimed Aquino the next president and Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay, the incoming vice president.

Aquino said he had "a very pleasant conversation" with Obama, who, he said, seemed "very sincere" in his intention in strengthening ties with the Philippines.