Barack Obama offers Noynoy Aquino advice on quitting smoking

United States Pres. Barack Obama is "ready to offer" President-Elect Noynoy Aquino advice on how to quit smoking "at the time [he] decides to quit," Aquino told the press, reports AFP via ABS-CBNNews.com.

The two leaders touched on the smoking issue when Obama called Aquino on June 9 to congratulate his presidential win. Aquino was proclaimed winner of the national elections a few hours before Obama's phone call.

Aquino said, "At some point, I attempted some humor. I said, 'Mr. President I understand we have the same issue with smoking.' He told me, 'Well, I quit that already. I quit; it's your sole problem but I'm ready to offer advice.'"

Aquino, 50, reportedly smokes up to two packs a day. He said during the campaign season that he intended to quit, as reported by ABS-CBNNews.com: "I assume 'yung smoking ko will eventually go. Hopefully ma-weather natin 'yung pressures with the job that we can give it up sooner other than later."

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However, at the time he was leading the elections, he said he was not ready to kick the habit since it might affect his decision-making skills, reports GMANews.TV. He said he would quit at the "appropriate time."

During the approximately 20-minute phone call, Obama praised the recent elections as "a model of transparency," according to an ABS-CBNNews.com report. Aquino said he found Obama "very sincere" in strengthening their countries' ties.

They agreed to meet at a "mutually convenient" time but Aquino stressed to reporters that he would focus on local concerns first.

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