June 23rd, 2009
08:43 PM ET
11 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. Willy Brown

    Oh thank you CNN for posting this wonderful story about our Cigarette Smoker in Chief. Another adventure in “As Obama Turns”.

    June 23, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. Hyacinth

    But he's human. Once you smoke, it is so hard to give up. Part of me feels it's hypocrisy to hide it from his kids, and part of me says he is doing the right thing (second hand smoke notwithstanding). I haven't smoked for over 10 years... and still want one occasionally.

    June 23, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Stephen in Bedford, TX

    As a reformed smoker of over five years and one who has quit several times before reaching the 5 year mark, I understand. Some of these Obama bashers had better not throw stones.

    June 23, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. Joe May

    You will wait along time for me to moderate this one.

    June 23, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. Wanderer

    Mr. Obama is not the only president who had fallen off the wagon. The one that has never fallen off the wagon is the liar and coward because they could not admit it. So far, Mr. Obama is one of a few presidents who do not show off the muscle when facing the enemies or unfriendly nations. One who shows off their muscle first when facing the enemies is weak (in their heart). Muscle is the last resource when all efforts have run out. It is 21st century, talking tough or pointing the gun to the head making people obey is uncivilized and outdated.

    June 23, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. carl

    I agree. This is a terrible example to set . I live my life by a fixed set of fine parameters and I feel that most people should live by these parameters as well. I aslo feel that smoking, whether done constantly and excessively, or merely for ocassional enjoyment, has no place within the parameters I've defined for myself and others and thus has no place in any type of dialogue or imagery amongst the public. Smoking can cause disease. Disease can cause death. Death is something to put off for as long as you can because life is enjoyable.

    June 23, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. TimeforChange

    We all have vices. President Obama is trying to do the right thing. Smoking is a hard thing to stop when you have smoked as many years as he has. He can do it...it will take time. With all the problems he has on his shoulders as President of the United States, it is understandable that he will have an occasional slip. He is a very determined individual, one day he will beat the smoking habit.

    June 23, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. Get Real

    Addiction is addiction and if you are addicted to something you struggle with it. I would rather have a President who is honest about his issues and who talks about his struggles than someone who lies and covers them up.

    June 23, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. Tim

    So it's ok to the moderators to imply a sexual aspect clinton's cigar smoking but not ok to imply a drug aspect to Obama's smoking?

    June 23, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. Millie Bea

    not a good example-
    So I guess you are perfect.

    June 23, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. MatthewDetroit

    Barack, NO ONE cares about your smoking. Not a living soul.
    What we do care about is that you are now going to screw with health care, and the cap and trade bill.
    Stop costing us more money.
    You screwed up the economy.
    You buried our unemployment.
    You are driving us into a debt we will never be able to pay back.
    You ruined GM and Chrysler as companies.
    You are screwing with the banks.
    Why dont you just mess with the abortion and gay rights issues and leave the economy alone.
    Stop trying to propose and propagate your socialist agenda.
    This IS NOT RUSSIA, and we do not want that way of life.

    June 23, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. Mike

    What does he mean by he was once a smoker? He still is. You can only quit once, otherwise you never did.

    June 23, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. Brian0901

    carl June 23rd, 2009 3:47 pm ET

    I agree. This is a terrible example to set . I live my life by a fixed set of fine parameters and I feel that most people should live by these parameters as well. I aslo feel that smoking, whether done constantly and excessively, or merely for ocassional enjoyment, has no place within the parameters I've defined for myself and others and thus has no place in any type of dialogue or imagery amongst the public. Smoking can cause disease. Disease can cause death. Death is something to put off for as long as you can because life is enjoyable.
    ______________________________________________________

    Carl, as you said those are your parameters. You have no right holding anyone else to them.

    June 23, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. billb

    what a studpid response..................do as I say not as I do.....................children love that remark.

    June 23, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Tim

    In stead of where’s Waldo, where’s S.C Governor Mark Sanford? He should be fired or he should resign!!! If you say that’s harsh, try leaving your job for a few days without telling your employer. Bet you he or she won’t say “hey, no big deal, you just needed a few days off”!!!

    June 23, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Dennis

    Wish he was as worried about the debt the next generation is going to inherit as a result of his policies.

    June 23, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. John

    Matthew in Dertoit, YOU are delusional.

    June 23, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. democrat no mas

    Don't lie to me. You only quit when your family smells it on you. Been there too many times. Now, get out there and spend another trillion. It will help take the edge off.

    June 23, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  19. Disgusted with state-run CNN

    CNN, can you find out next if Obama puts his elbows on the table? CNN = Certainly No News.

    June 23, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  20. gl, Pittsburgh

    Why do you fools think you can tell the President how to live his life, but you don't want the govenment telling yu how to live your life. All you nuts on here are hypicrites. RIGHT WING NUT AND FAKE DEMO. ARE HYPICRITES. HE CAN SMOKE IF YOU WANT TO.

    Republicans want small govenment like I want a whole in my head.

    June 23, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. John

    Well, one good thing is that the thing he smokes is a legal product. Won't have to worry about him proclaiming that he doesn't inhale.

    June 23, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  22. babs in calif

    I'm going to invite Mr. Obama over to my house for beer and ciggarettes and we would like the media to leave us alone. Why does he have to be your role model for everyting?

    June 23, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. Diane

    I quite smoking 25 years ago COLD TURKEY !!! It can be done; Obama is a whimp !

    June 23, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. Kiss

    People with glass house shouldn't throw stones. To all you Obama haters what is your house made of?

    June 23, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
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