June 23rd, 2009
08:43 PM ET
7 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. Shoo Fly Shoo

    Yes, okay...so he admitted it. Now watch the naysayers jump on this subject.

    I wish the GOPers would find something else to do besides criticize this president. Yes, we know you don't like him, so go away. Shooo.

    June 23, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. Beatrice Lindsay

    Doesn't he suspect that everyone can smell that he is a smoker, even his children.

    June 23, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. Isabelle, Texas

    Why does anyone care if Obama smokes? As a Republican who values freedom, I could care less if he smokes. Smoking is legal. He has a right in a free society to smoke if he wants. I would never vote for Obama as president. I think he's hopelessly naive and getting some big lessons in reality right now with Iran. But good grief, leave the man alone and let him make his personal choices.

    June 23, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. Stefan

    It is awesome that he can admit this. A president who is honest about his flaws??? So refreshing!

    June 23, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. KING

    At least he isn't drunk and picking fights with other countries like ole Dunya.

    June 23, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. John

    I have tons of times, get up and try again.

    June 23, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. stl jake

    as a former smoker, i feel great sympathy towards pres. obama. i "quit" about 100 times before i really quit. best of luck. it is a tough habit to break.

    June 23, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. Dennis

    Obama is a JOKE!

    June 23, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. Gene

    Dirty smoker! Impeach! Impeach! lol

    Really.. I'm falling off the wagon as I speak :)

    June 23, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  10. Pro-common sense and sanity

    I'm also struggling w/this problem and am hanging in there with you, Mr. President. New law re FDA regulation of tobacco products is long overdue and thank you! Great press conference and answers; I love your restating "I am the President" to your critics in a timely manner. You are my esteemed President and I'll be here for you in 2012.

    June 23, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. Smoking what?

    You know, this may sound incredulous but no journalist has ever asked Barack Obama is he ever smoked ..Marijuana...not one question. Talk about a fair and balanced coverage

    June 23, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. southerncousin

    I am sure he bums them from his wealthy friends because we sure can't afford to buy them anymore. Another freedom lost to Obama and the thieves. (No middle class tax increases, B.S)

    June 23, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. Diane

    OMG give him a break! I quit over 2 years ago and thankfully I had the support of my family and friends and not the constant harassment President Obama is getting. Is it a bad habit, yes. Is it annoying and stinky, yes. Is it harmful to his health, yes, but last time I checked he's an adult and can make those decisions for himself.

    June 23, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  14. Me in Big D

    I quit smoking successfully with Chantix after 40 years of smoking. What's his problem?

    June 23, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  15. Willy

    Hey, it's a tough habit to break. I'd probably smoke more if I had his job.

    June 23, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  16. Addicted to Obama

    Has the US fallen off the wagon?
    Yes.

    June 23, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  17. CATHERINE

    That's ok Mr. President.....you are only human!

    June 23, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. Floridian

    A lot of people smoke you guys. He is not the first or last smoker. He can still want better for the future children even if isn't able to completely quit. Seriously most of the people judging him are smokers themselves! Ridiculous. Grow up. I am not a smoker. I loathe those things (cigarettes) and honestly most smokers too. However, I do not judge them and I avoid places where it is tolerated. I love that Florida restaurants don't tolerate smoke. Makes me happy. Keep working hard Mr. President.

    June 23, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  19. Hmmm....

    Yes...and based on his performance and slow reaction to world events he seems to have fallen on his head. So, any REAL news today or have our journalists fallen off the wagon too?

    June 23, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  20. KING

    I've been known to roll one myself. At least he ain't drunk on the job like Bush.

    June 23, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  21. Eddie

    Hypocrisy at it's best. I'm a non-smoker too.

    June 23, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  22. Laura

    Why is this newsworthy? Who cares? I see no evidence that it effects the job he's doing or his judgement like alcohol or drugs. I think it's incredible that he "falls off the wagon" only 5% of the time, considering the pressure he's under!

    June 23, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  23. Bonnie

    Wow CNN top of your priority list, the Prez. occasionally smokes, this was most important to you, not Iran issues, or health care issues, but our President of the United States of American(who is human I might add) still smokes, what are we going to do., how will this look to the world, Oh Lord help us.

    June 23, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  24. Bill Keldsen

    Been there done that with falling off the wagon. I had been smoke free for 3 years and I had a cigarette a few weeks aqo after an incredibly stressfull week. I tasted like crap.

    June 23, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  25. AMIA IN ATL

    I love the fact that he is so real. It's not easy to stop and I am very surprised he isn't smoking more with this new position!

    June 23, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
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