June 23rd, 2009
08:43 PM ET
10 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. seg

    What a terrible time to try quitting this awful habit . . . especially while being President . . . and after this partcular news conference!

    Best wishes, Barrack.

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

    At east he doesn't "Choke on a pretzel", pass out, fall and hit his head, and have a big shiner the next day, like closet alcoholic Bush.

    June 23, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. Hugo

    Errr uh yes uh I errr uh like to smoke the uh errr uh cigs uh err after a nice uh errr uh burger with uh errr some of that uh yellow stuff er uhh yes uhh err uuhh you know the uh errr uuh spicy kind of uh err uh mustard uh errr uh yes you know.

    June 23, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. carlo

    SO WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Does anyone realize what kind of trouble we're in? I'm suprised the man isn't smoking crystal meth.

    June 23, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  5. Rick

    let's face it ...black people love menthol cigarettes. 95 % cured means still addicted to nicotine, by the way...

    June 23, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. Too True For You

    "...is not about me. It's about the next generation of kids coming up."

    Yes, but the right wing attack dogs will find some ridiculous excuse to make it about you in the most mendacious manner possible, simply because it is what they do.

    June 23, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  7. CTGIRL

    What? News flash!!!! Honest Politician? Wow! For so long I thought that was an oxymoron! Good for POTUS, that he was honest with his answer to this gotcha question. With all that's on his plate, I would understand if he was smoking weed!

    June 23, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. dominican mama 4 Obama

    Jimminy Christmas! Did anyone find out all the ins and outs of Bush? How many "drinks" did he have? How many drinks did his daughters have? Good grief folks? What's next? How many bowel movements does he experience per day, and how many tissue squares he uses to wipe?!!

    CNN- this is donkey doo doo.

    June 23, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. Monrob

    An addict is never cured. There is no such thing as 95% cured.

    Stupid statement, Obo.

    June 23, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. rachel

    CNN POST

    It's such a nasty habit. I am so tired of the do as I say not as I do. So what does he do start the day off with exercise and a puff? Never understood people who are so into exercise and then smoke away. What's the point?

    June 23, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. Tony

    You're still a smoker, Obama. You lie to America constantly, but you shouldn't lie to yourself, too.

    June 23, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  12. Wyatt

    Do as I say, not as I do. Typical hypocritical behavior from Obama.

    June 23, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  13. Anne E.

    Two comments: First, better to fall off this wagon than the fidelity wagon. Second: Now that you've 'fessed up, Mr. President, hang tough - we need you in topflight health as much as you need us to be the same and heed your call to serve.
    Godspeed - and willpower - to you!

    June 23, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  14. LK Austin

    It's okay. After all, President Bush fell off his bicycle a bunch of times.

    June 23, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. Butch Dillon

    Hang in there Prez!

    June 23, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  16. Georgio

    I am just curious, did President Bush get the same question on drinking?. It is refreshing to hear a President admitting weakness in his life than lying!. I know these reporters are not the Presidents but how many of them problem and drinking or smoking like the President but will never be asked or admit it !!!!. Thank you so much Mr. President for your honesty!

    June 23, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. st

    weak. Pres can't stop smoking but he wants to change the world?

    June 23, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. Hopeful in America

    The President cannot "NOT" quit! He needs to demonstrate that this can be done...must be done. The President should aslo quit calling it a "habit." This is not a habit. It is an addiction and has to be treated like a health problem.

    Good luck Mr. President but you above all must quit. So many young people are watching.

    June 23, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    I can agree with this, but to go beyond health education and to make tobacco use a moral issue is wrong.
    We should make the best information available about the harmful effects of smoking, but we should never never remove a person's right to live the way they want to live. It is supposed to be a free country.

    June 23, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Doug, New Jersey

    Sooo he smokes cigarettes, big deal. Well, maybe he would feel guitly for him and his lib army stealing money from the lower class that they are supposed to support through insane government taxes but hey the guys a liberal, what would you expect, him to think of being far to others like most republicans?

    Tobacco is not that bad, not as bad as what other Democrats in DC prefer to smoke, Hi Marion-lib! lol

    June 23, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. Genny Wilson

    Today at the President's press conf., it appeared to me that some of the press core along with some of those in Congress, want the President to do "Bush/Irag" thing. You know, invade Iran because the people were being abused! Most of these inquisitors dissaproved of Bush for his action and now seem to want Pres. Obama to do the same thing in Iran. With the number of troops we have in Irag and Afganistan, perhaps they should get in line to sign on and go to Iran.
    Then, the rest of us can single out all the other places that this form of genicide takes place. They'll have a lifetime job.

    June 23, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. J in NJ

    Now that tobacco has been taxed into the ground can we stop subsidizing tobacco farmers?????????????????????????

    Tobacco subsidies from 1995 – 2006 totaled $530 million. I wonder how many people could have gotten health care coverage wtih that money that was spent trying to kill them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 23, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. Matt

    So much for personal courage and will power. This explains alot about his character at times.

    June 23, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. Carlena Smithey

    That's good Obama is 95% cured; I am 100% cured (of him).

    June 23, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  25. Nathan,

    Maybe he pushed for this tobacco legislation to help him quit.

    June 23, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
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