Yes! You! May!

Barack Obama says that, although he has failed to quit smoking, he will not smoke in the White House. I hope this is bullshit. After all, he does a substantial amount of his work in the White House, doesn’t he? And everybody knows that nicotine withdrawal comes with, well, withdrawal symptoms. I mean, do we really need scientific studies to prove this? Just in case:
Smokers report that smoking enhances their cognitive processing (Warburton & Walters 1995), and that abstinence from smoking produces an inability to concentrate (Hughes et al. 1991). In fact, laboratory research supports these assertions. Domino & Kishimoto (2002) showed that nicotine withdrawal disrupted the processing of meaningful stimuli [...], and this effect was reversed by smoking. [...] It is clear that smoking restores the information-processing deficits produced by withdrawal.*
For Christ’s sake, light up, man! We wouldn't want you to launch a missile just because you couldn't bloody concentrate!

*Timothy B. Baker, Thomas H. Brandon and Laurie Chasson, 2004: “Motivational Influences on Cigarette Smoking”, Annual Review of Psychology 55: 463-91. The quote is from p. 481. I particularly liked this bit (p. 469): “[S]ome adolescents may be influenced by their beliefs that smoking can control body weight. [...] In fact, smoking does suppress body weight (Williamson et al. 1991), which makes this attitude particularly difficult to counter.” Dammit!

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