It used to be called Washington’s Birthday, but by an act of Congress in 1971 as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act it is now known as President’s Day. It basically gives a three-day weekend for some of the nation’s workers. Some schools may be off today, but that doesn’t stop us from giving you a quick quiz on the tobacco habits of some of our Presidential office holders. How well do you know your presidents and their tobacco use? Answers are at the bottom.
1. This President was at one time a four-pack a day smoker. When his physician suggested he cut back, he decided it was worse counting cigarettes than quitting. He said he was able to quit by developing “a scornful attitude toward those weaklings who did not have the will power to break their enslavement.” Unfortunately, his smoking created life-long health problems including a stroke, seven myocardial infarctions, and 14 cardiac arrests.
2. This President was a farmer growing wheat, vegetables, flax and corn, but his main cash crop was tobacco, although the price was usually low and rarely profitable. He had cash flow problems and was always in debt.
3. This President smoked off and on from age 8. This doctor even tried to get him to quit by giving him a copy of a lecture entitled “Caution to a Young Person Concerning Health … showing the Evil Tendency of the Use of Tobacco.” While he regretted smoking, there is no evidence he quit. He also liked to chew tobacco.
4. This President’s father acquired land and slaves, built mills and grew tobacco at Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg, VA. and at Little Hunting Creek Plantation, which was renamed to its current, famous moniker.
5. This President, who served in two wars, suffered sword wounds and gunshot wounds, chronic abdominal pain for years, but refused to give up coffee and tobacco, even suffering headaches from his tobacco use.
6. He gave up alcohol, but not tobacco. This president chewed tobacco in business school and liked to smoke an occasional cigar.
7. This President was a General, loved his cigars, but died at age 63 from throat cancer. His oldest son, also a General, died from throat cancer at about the same age as his father.
8. This two-time President, who dropped the use of his first name, also loved his cigars and developed cancer on his “cigar-chewing side.” He had it removed in a secret operation aboard his yacht.
1. Dwight D. Eisenhower; 2. Thomas Jefferson; 3. John Adams; 4. George Washington; 5. Andrew Jackson; 6. George W. Bush; 7. Ulysses S Grant; 8. (Stephen) Grover Cleveland