http://thetrack.bostonherald.com/moreTrack/view.bg?articleid=120949 Shut and smoke! By Inside Track Thursday, January 12, 2006 Although politically overactive actor Sean Penn has not stepped into battle, the countrys involvement in Iraq is going to slowly kill him. The Oscar winner told the audience at an anti-war forum hosted by the Progressive Democrats of America in Sacramento, Calif. the other night that the stress of living under the Bush administration is making it impossible for him to quit smoking, the PDAs Web site reported. Penn, 45, famously kicked the habit on his 40th birthday after watching his father, Leo Penn, die of lung cancer. It was time not to be a slave to this (smoking) nonsense, you know? Penn told Guardian Unlimited Film in 2001. Once he had broken free from the constraints of chain-smoking, the I Am Sam actor threw himself into political and humanitarian work, beginning in 2002 when he placed a $56,000 advertisement in the Washington Post asking President George W. Bush to end the cycle of violence in Iraq. But it must have been his selfless efforts of 2005 that forced him to seek the solace of nicotine once again. In June of last year, The Interpreter star traveled to Iran as a journalist on an assignment for the San Francisco Chronicle covering the elections. Then, only four months later, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he showed up in New Orleans with a camera crew to rescue stranded victims. He wasnt too successful since he had to bail out his sinking skiff. A real smokin effort on his part . . .