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01 March 2010

Doc tells Obama to quit smoking

Barack Obama was urged by his doctor Sunday to quit smoking for good after his first health check-up as US president found him otherwise in "excellent health" and "fit for duty."

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Barack Obama was urged by his doctor Sunday to quit smoking for good after his first health check-up as US president found him otherwise in "excellent health" and "fit for duty."

Obama's personal physician Jeffery Kuhlman said the results from the physical exam indicated that he would remain healthy for the duration of his presidency.

Under his recommendations, Kuhlman urged the president to "continue smoking cessation efforts", and noted Obama was medicating himself with nicotine supplements in a bid to kick the habit.

Obama, 48, has fought a public battle to give up smoking, and promised his wife he would quit when he ran for president - but has admitted succumbing to the occasional cigarette several times since moving into the White House.

The president visited the National Naval Medical Centre in nearby Bethesda, Maryland for the routine check up.

He was also treated to a cat scan colonography in a screening for colorectal cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, and the results were negative.

African Americans have the highest rate of colon cancer and death from colon cancer of all demographic groups in the country, and at least two of the president's relatives, including his mother, died from cancer.

95% cured from smoking

Obama last year said he was 95% cured from smoking and insisted he never lights up in front of his family.

"As a former smoker I constantly struggle with it. Have I fallen off the wagon sometimes? Yes. Am I a daily smoker, a constant smoker? No," he told a White House press conference in July.

Kuhlman recommended a follow-up exam in August 2011 after the president turns 50.

After the exam Obama visited soldiers being treated at the same facility who were wounded in the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. - (Sapa/AFP, March 2010)

 
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