Was Bob Dole a smoker? Former senator diagnosed with lung cancer

Filiz Mustafa February 19, 2021
Photo credit should read TASOS KATOPODIS/AFP via Getty Images

Was Bob Dole a smoker? The former senator has revealed he was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer and will begin treatment on Monday, 22 February.

Bob Dole diagnosed with stage four lung cancer

Bob Dole, a retired American politician and former lawyer, has confirmed that he has stage four lung cancer at the age of 97.

He confirmed the news on his official Twitter account and wrote in a statement: “Recently, I was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. My first treatment will begin on Monday.

“While I certainly have some hurdles ahead, I also know that I join millions of Americans who face significant health challenges of their own.”

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Dole represented Kansas in the US Senate from 1969 to 1996 before he ran for President on the 1996 Republican presidential platform. He also ran for a Vice Presidential nominee in the 1976 election.

Was Bob Dole a smoker at any point in his life?

It’s unknown if Dole was ever a smoker in the past. The former senator has never revealed if he picked up the habit.

However, he has made comments about the habit of smoking during the 1996 presidential campaign which received backlash from some people.

During a visit to tobacco-growing Kentucky at the time, Dole said that smoking “was not necessarily addictive”, The New York Times reported.

The former politician added: “We know it’s not good for kids. But a lot of other things aren’t good. Drinking’s not good. Some would say milk’s not good.”

Photo credit should read TASOS KATOPODIS/AFP via Getty Images

Dole’s stance on tobacco

During his 1996 presidential campaign, Dole released a statement to former surgeon general Dr. C. Everett Koop, in which he said that “my personal observations are that for some people it is addictive, and for others it may not be.”

In the letter, Dole explained that each state should approve its own laws on how to tackle the sale of tobacco products to young people.

He added: “As President, I will take a very active role in urging young people, as well as pregnant women and others at risk, to just say no to smoking cigarettes.”

In an interview with ABC News (via The New York Times) later, Dole said: “Some people who’ve tried it can quit easily, others don’t quit, so I guess it’s addictive to some and not to others.”

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Filiz is a film and TV journalist with a flair for everything related to showbiz and reality TV. With a Masters degree in Magazine Journalism from Cardiff University, she has specialised in finding the latest trending story to keeping up to date with new releases for a creative feature. When she's not busy creating entertainment content, she loves spending time in nature, reading non-fiction books, eating comfort food and travelling.