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. Siddharth Singh

    Ooo, news! Go, America!

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

    Obama promised no more taxes, He lied again.

    June 23, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  3. jmccoy

    I wish the President the best in his efforts to kick the smoking habit. He is a great guy and I would love to see him be totally cured of such a nasty habit. God's speed Mr. President.

    June 23, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  4. Mel

    Kind of like being a little bit pregnant. either your a smoker or your not. Or when a person asks if hes stopped smoking tfor him to respond sure I've stopped at least 20 times today.

    June 23, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. Sean

    He also said that "Once you go down this path, it's something you continually struggle with."
    I'm sorry Mr. President, I think you're dead wrong. I quit smoking and for good. I don't give in to the temptation every once in a while. I think that shows weakness. If you really quit, then you should stop completely.

    June 23, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. John

    I wish he would just smoke his cigarettes and tell all those anti-smoking jihadists to mind there own business. Good grief, I'm so tired of all the anti-smoking crap.

    June 23, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. AndyB

    I'd rather have a smoker than a dry drunk in the White House. Just look what the supposedly "dry" drunk did to America over the last eight years. The drunken fool drove it into a ditch.

    June 23, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  8. Steve IN (CA)

    This is such a non-story I had to comment.
    Who care, really? Smoking is bad and we all know it.

    get back to being a President!

    June 23, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. Ron H In DC

    Please, can we get past this? He likes to light up once in awhile. WHO CARES!! Smoking is still legal, he meets the age requirements, he has read the warnings. He's an adult that chooses to sometimes smoke. There is WAY too much going on in the world to worry about this pettiness. It's ridiculous.

    June 23, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. jennifer

    Well, I can't knock him this time. Obama gave a very real and revealing answer. I respect him for not smoking around his girls. Good luck to him, cause I know I would NEVER give up chocolate.

    June 23, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  11. Doug

    who cares.. he's got probably the most stressful job on the planet. So what.

    June 23, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  12. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    The Right-Wingers will run with this ignoring the fact that the last occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was a drunken, coke-headed lout!

    June 23, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. Konrad Capeller

    Smoke 'em if you've got 'em. With a job like that, I think an occassional smoke break is warranted.

    June 23, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  14. buckwheat

    Have you noticed that Sen Kennedy never tried to break the alcohol industry?I feel more people have died because of alcohol and its related dangers, such as driving drunk ,than have from drinking. One incident comes to mind many years ago. On Obama's habit. It is a sign of weakness when one says I can't quit. I feel the same about a drinking habit. Weak minded people run our government.

    June 23, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  15. GM

    This is not news.

    June 23, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  16. Free Thinker

    Obama believes the government can do more to stop his kids from smoking then he can. His weakness in his personal life is disappointing to the American people and to his Imam!

    June 23, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. CO

    I love how he express his struggle which make him human. Can't get better than this as a president.

    June 23, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  18. pam Eugene OR

    I thought the question was rude and none of her business. With all that is going on in the world that "reporter" should be fired for wasting an opportunity to ask a valuable question. What was she thinking?
    I am sure that President Obama does not blow smoke at his daughters.

    June 23, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Jean

    I watched him answer this question. What a misleading headline.

    A more accurate one would be, "Journalist asks trivial question that misses the main point of the issue."

    June 23, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. Daisy

    Yeah, that bill is also about slapping small smoke shops and tobacco companies in the face while taking away an adult's choice to enjoy flavored tobacco.

    Thank you, oh mighty great one. Thank you for understanding that I, as a grown, tax paying citizen, am far too stupid to decide what goes into my own body.

    That bill was nothing but a big win for Phillip Morris, and a big loss to hookah bars, smoke shops, and small tobacco-related businesses.

    June 23, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. Nate

    Perhaps when he decided to spend this country's kids deep into debt he should have shared a similar sentiment – "it's not about me, it's about the next generation of kids coming up"

    June 23, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. Desmond

    Though the smoking thing is most unfortunate, it is just so good to witness a thoroughly normal, refreshingly candid human being as President of the USA.
    Having said that, since he is handling just about every other crisis quite masterfully, I am sure the smoking thing will soon be history. Also, only goes to show, conquering self is the greatest challenge of all.

    June 23, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. Chris in MI

    What's the big deal??? The man states that he struggles with this like anyone else who's trying to quit or has quit already. Why do these reporters feel they must belabor the point? He's trying to be a role model for people to quit and they would do anything to catch him lighting up. Quit badgering him about this personal struggle and stick to the important issues of the day.

    June 23, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. Puff the Magic Dragon

    When the greatest leader in the Free World needs a smoke once in a while, who can blame him? He has a huge job to do. I do not begrudge him a cigarette once in a while. Shoot, I'm a nonsmoker and there are days at my job where I feel I should light up!

    June 23, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  25. Sam

    WOW!! Is this the only thing you got out of this?? As a former smoker who tried and failed on several occassions, give the guy a break! If you can not come up with something other than this out of the hour long question and answer session you guys need to look for new work!

    June 23, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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