June 23rd, 2009
08:43 PM ET
3 months ago

Obama admits to smoking on occasion

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he is "95 percent cured" of his smoking habit, "but there are times I mess up."

Obama said "that as a former smoker, I constantly struggle with it. ... Have I fallen off the wagon? Yes."

Obama noted he is not a daily smoker and "doesn't do it in front of" his children.

The president argued that a new law providing for FDA regulation of tobacco "is not about me. It's about the next generation of kids coming up."

The president made his remarks during a news conference at the White House.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. not a good example

    I didn't like the cigar thing with Clinton and do not like the smoking with Obama, what example does that set?

    June 23, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  2. Capt. Snarky

    Hypocrite.

    June 23, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. Steph

    I applaud his honesty. As a former smoker, I know how difficult it can be to quit for good. We need to try to prevent young people from starting this horrible habit.

    June 23, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  4. Independent in Virginia

    "The president argued that a new law providing for FDA regulation of tobacco 'is not about me. It's about the next generation of kids coming up.'"

    If only he took this same approach with the policies he passed (is trying to pass) we'd be in business!!! Keep on racking up that debt!

    It's funny...I'm paying social security to support the older generation now, and when I'm older, I'll be paying some type of social security to pay the younger generation! I can't lose!

    June 23, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    It happens to everyone Mr. President. Sometimes Nicorette just doesn't cut it.

    June 23, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  6. The Original No Incumbents 2010

    I hope the President continues to smoke. He can help pay for healthcare reform.

    June 23, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. Fitz in Texas

    Translated.................Obama wants to push non-smoking on everyone else while he puffs away.

    June 23, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. Tim

    That's no suprise, he does a lot of things in private that he wouldn't want anyone to know about.

    June 23, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. 30m-PUMA for McCain

    Interesting how the press covered this up during the primaries and general election.

    June 23, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. Alfred E. Neumann

    Wow, Obama still smoking.

    I didn't see that coming!

    Next you'll be telling me that the Brooklyn Bridge is not for sale.

    June 23, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. Ernie in LA

    Lead by example as Father and President.

    June 23, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  12. David

    Now if the leader of the free world, dealing with all he has to deal with, is able to bring down his smoking under a cigarette a day, then anyone else should be able to quit.

    Could there be a more stressful job than president of the united states??

    June 23, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. Just say NO

    Woa, hold the presses!! Who cares? He needs to smoke a little more and show support for all the programs cigarettes are funding. Government would fall apart if they lost all that tax revenue collected from cigarettes. We all know cigarettes kill, if we choose to smoke that is our choice. We don't need the government to control that too. Why not just ban cigarettes?

    June 23, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. Terry from Texas

    It wasn't easy for me to give up smoking a long time ago, but I'm glad I did. We do not need to look down on him. He has a lot on his mind at the moment. We hope that his daughters will nag him out of it.

    However, he is not overweight. Those of us who are blubber tubs (I include myself) cannot look down on him for having a tobacco problem.

    If cigarettes cost $100 a pack, cigarette smokers would be breaking into our cars and stealing our stereos to pay for their habit.

    Tobacco is the worst drug problem in the US. A couple million Americans die from tobacco every year. A half million die from alcohol. About 20,000 die from heroin. No one has ever died from marijuana. We would be better off outlawing tobacco and alcohol while legalizing maryjane.

    June 23, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  15. dan in Tucson AZ

    Even our president can't break the habit. Isn't this a poster for tobacco reform? If I had his job, it wouldn't be tobacco in that paper.

    June 23, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  16. jack

    Do as I say, not as I do.

    June 23, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  17. No More Incumbents

    But as with all Democrats, he didn't inhale.....

    June 23, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  18. Obama Victim

    Actually – it's about GOVERNMENT becoming a nanny-state, Craddle to grave control.

    June 23, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  19. southern progressive

    i am 36 years old. have smoked for a portion of that, now i smoke 1 cigarette a day, after dinner and i am ok with that.

    June 23, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  20. Jeff

    No, really, is there ANYONE on the planet more deserving of a cigarette?

    I say that as a non-smoker.

    June 23, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  21. Larry

    I can appreciate what he's going thru.

    I had my first cigarette 40 years ago and have been trying to quit ever since. I'm a nicotine addict. If anyone has any doubts about nicotine being an addictive drug, they need to talk to me.

    I think when I started smoking cigs were around $0.39/pack. When they went to $5.60 at my corner store I decided enough was enough. Not to mention the fact that I was getting severe chest pains when I smoked.

    I agree with the President on the kids. It's so much better if they never start!

    June 23, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  22. renobill

    I guess we can allow the Prez to enjoy a smoke once in awhile. That's nothing compared to that alcoholic brain dead fool we had for the past eight years.

    June 23, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  23. brad

    What an absolutely dumb question. I hate cigarettes but really.

    June 23, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. Buffalo

    Not crack, right?

    June 23, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  25. GI Joe

    So – typical of CNN shallowness, this is the top rated story.

    No wonder you're going down in ratings.

    June 23, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
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