MANILA, Philippines - Where there's smoke, there's fire.
It seems true in the case of Senator Noynoy Aquino, of late, as some sectors fan the flames over his favorite light.
The Surgeon General's warning goes "smoking is bad for your health.”
Apparently, it could also be bad for leadership.
Because even before the presumptive president-elect can assume the highest post, some sectors are asking him to quit smoking!
"We really want him to quit smoking within his first 100 days in office," says former Health Secretary Jaime Galvez Tan.
Some critics say it may even pose a security issue.
Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral says the Presidential Security Group (PSG) may find it difficult to secure Aquino if he decides to smoke outdoors, since the law restricts smoking to a restricted room or 10 meters away from any government building, including Malacañang.
But amid the pressures facing Aquino, he says he just isn't ready to kick the habit.
"Maraming pressure ho tayong papasukan. Dadagan ko pa ng unnecessary pressure, baka ma-apektuhan yung mga desisyon na kailangan nating gawin," Aquino says.
A president making the wrong decisions?
We wouldn't want that now, would we?
In the search for alternatives to kick the habit after the e-vote and the e-VAT, would an e-cigarette do?
Aquino certainly wouldn't want to bite off more than he can chew.
"At the appropriate time na hihintuin ko, hihintuin ko po. Pero yung…so long as nag-co-conform ako sa mga batas at wala po akong iniistorbo, baka naman ho parte ng kalayaan kong bahagyang natitira,” he says.
But maybe Aquino could try chewing on former President Fidel V. Ramos’ (FVR) example.
Once a self-confessed chain smoker, today, FVR just chews on his cigar.