Senator Benigno Aquino, set to
become the Philippines’ next president, said he is not ready to quit smoking
yet because it could affect his decision making.
Aquino, who smokes a pack of
cigarettes a day, said there were more pressing political, social and economic
issues to be addressed than his smoking habit.
“When I ran, people knew that
I smoked,” Aquino, the only son of the country’s revered democracy leader,
Cory Aquino, told reporters. “I will stop smoking at the appropriate
He said quitting now would only add
to the pressures he faced.
Aquino’s comments came as rules
requiring prominent warnings on cigarette packets came into effect, and
activists said they would still press for him to kick the habit.