List: Presidents who loved smoking

From Barack Obama to Nelson Mandela to Apollo Milton Obote, the presidency has a smoky history.

Some of the presidents who loved to smoke

Recently, former National Unity Platform Party Vice President Mathias Mpuuga argued that only sober leaders who don't drink or smoke are capable of ruling Uganda. The double-edged utterance, which could pass as praise for the incumbent president Yoweri Museveni, was a veiled attack on his former boss-turned-nemesis Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine.

"Tell those interested in leadership positions to stop going to bars, getting drunk, and smoking marijuana," Mpuuga said before adding.

"If you want to be a leader, you must be sober 24 hours a day. The person we want to push away doesn't go to bars, he's always sober. And he doesn't even drink wine."

However, history shows several presidents loved to smoke or drink.

Apollo Milton Obote: Two-time Ugandan President Apollo Milton Obote loved to smoke the pipe. According to available information, the founding Prime Minister of Uganda gave up the habit while in Zambia during his exile.

Milton Obote

Barack Obama: The most recent president to grapple with smoking. He reportedly smoked as a young man and even admitted to occasional puffs while in office. However, due to the changing social perception of smoking becoming increasingly negative, he did so very discreetly.

Nelson Mandela: There are photographs of a young Mandela smoking, particularly during the 1950s. However, Mandela became a vocal anti-smoking advocate. He spoke out about the dangers of smoking and discouraged young people from picking up the habit. When confronted with his younger smoking self, Mandela reportedly joked that he was "just showing off" and the cigarette wasn't even lit.

On April 27, Nelson Mandela was elected the first democratically elected president of South Africa, ending apartheid for good.

So, while Mandela may have smoked in his earlier years, he ultimately became an advocate for a smoke-free lifestyle.

Col Gaddafi

Col Muammar Gaddafi was also a smoker. There isn't a single definitive source, but pictures exist showing him smoking on various occasions. Additionally, some news articles mention the habit of passing.

Col. Muammar Gadaffi is the modern father of pan-Africanism.

Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR): A known cigarette smoker throughout his life. Interestingly, his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, also picked up the habit, making them a smoking couple in the White House.

John F. Kennedy: Though not as prominent as cigars for him, Kennedy did enjoy cigars, especially as a young man spending time with his father, Joseph P. Kennedy.

It's important to note that this list isn't exhaustive. Many other presidents enjoyed cigars or pipes to varying degrees. However, with the growing awareness of the health risks of smoking, the number of presidents who smoke has drastically declined.


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