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. Effra

    President Teleprompter probably smokes menthol Kools every chance he gets . . . while telling Americans that they cannot smoke.

    Do you want this guy in charge of your health care? Wake up, America!

    June 23, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. Wanda

    Hey not a good example – I'm glad that you never picked up the nasty habit. I did when I was 12 years old. I am now smoke free, but it was not something that I accomplished overnight, please do not be so critical. At least President Obama is trying to kick the habit and I am sure that he will as long as you give our support and thumbs up. Every smoker realizes that it is not good anyone's health. For those of us who have been able to kick the really bad habit I applaud you.

    June 23, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  3. honest Ab

    I want judge him, let he who is without sin be the first to cast his stone. If you over eat and become an obese person, should I say you are a fat slob, NO. It doesn't mean you don't have any decency, it means you have a problem with self-control, when it comes to eating. The same goes for anyone that smokes, doesn't mean they are a bad person, just have a problem with breaking a bad habit of smoking. Nothing to get in a tussle about.

    June 23, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. Kit

    Thank goodness he doesn't smoke in front of his kids. They just have to deal with his bad breath. What about his wife that has to kiss his cigarette tasting mouth-how considerate of him.

    June 23, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. RCasson

    He is once again walking the walk and not just talking the talk. He speaks from experience, and does not lie. The GOP hates this about him.

    June 23, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  6. Joe the Troll

    The example of someone facing his weakness and being honest about it. Everyone has weaknesses – the weakest among us are those who pretend that they don't. Get off your high horse – we've had Presidents with bigger issues than this.

    Hell, we had one creep who claimed he spoke to God.

    June 23, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  7. Chad

    @ not a good example

    Are you for real? Yes smoking is bad, but trying to quit (which is what this article is about) is a great thing and should be cheered. It is a hard thing to do and most experts will tell you it takes many slip ups before it "takes."

    Clinton smoked cigars and liked the ladies, Bush is a recovering alchoholic and also liked the ladies, and Obama is tying to quit smoking. All had/have their vices just as every American does including you!

    Why don't you set a good example and try supporting people who are trying to improve themselves instead of beng negative and tearing them down.

    June 23, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. Mississippi Mike

    Smoking for me but no for thee.

    June 23, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. Enmanuel Rios

    Personally I don't see anything wrong with it the man has the toughest and one of the worst jobs out there, he's human just like the rest of us and everyone has bad habits. This doesn't lower my opinion of him and it helps me realize that he has flaws just like any average person.

    June 23, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  10. Big Ed

    Quitting smoking is tough. With the stress of all the issues that President Obama is facing, I am impressed with 95%. As a former smoker, I don't think there could have been a tougher time to quit than during the campaign and during the first term. I admire the fact that he has reached 95% and that he hasn't given up. That sets a terrific example, if you smoke: quit. It's a struggle worth fighting. If you don't smoke DON'T START!

    June 23, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. WHO CARES

    Who cares about him smoking cigarettes are not illeagal. However I would be curious to know what he has to to say about Gov. Sanford disappearing. Maybe he went to the mountains to go smoke in private.

    June 23, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. Sam

    He / she that has no fault, should cast the first stone!! Enough of inneundos. Leave the president alone and lets think about the health care and other monomental issues

    June 23, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. larrywi

    What a weak minded individual he is, can't even stop smoking. How can he expect to get the support he needs when all he does is come accross as weak! So is it our tax dollars that buy his cigarette's, of course it is... I'll bet he smokes a sissy cigarette like virginia slims, Kool's, and or Salem. A camel (Cowboy killer) would have him caughing up his fricking lungs.

    June 23, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  14. Macushla

    He's human...like the rest of us.

    June 23, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. pakuna

    you had to quit in order to fall of the wagon. just like everything else with him he was never on the wagon to fall off.

    June 23, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. Gwen

    Yes, it does set a bad example. However, he is human and strugles with issues just like all of us......

    June 23, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  17. John

    Yes CNN he smokes occasionally something we all knew already.

    Obama admits falling off wagon Obama says its a struggle sometimes to not light up Obama doesn't smoke in front of his children Now if this was a real news story you would say things like. Obama likes his cigarettes with a little hash oil
    Obama smokes but it's not tobacco Obama and staffers seen doing bongs in the west wing.

    June 23, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  18. Truth Hurts

    People are human and will relapse. We all could set good examples of many things but we don't!! At least he was truthful saying that it is a struggle!!

    June 23, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  19. Janice in Mississippi

    I guess the same kind obese people set and recovering alcoholics set.

    June 23, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  20. John

    95 Percent cured. Is that like a little bit pregnant? I admire his public stuggle with nicotine addiction and wish him success. I quit in 1998 and it is still the hardest thing that I have done.

    June 23, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  21. munchmom

    Well this doesn't bode well for preventive health care and keeping the cost down....bad example to set.

    June 23, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  22. Galileo813

    Correct technique.

    June 23, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  23. floridian

    So what! He is fighting the habit; has done remarkably well if he doesn't light up on a daily basis; and, obviously has a lot of stress in his position. Does that make him a bad President? Heck no! Now if you want to talk about his policies and programs, that is another story.

    June 23, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  24. Janice in Mississippi

    @ not a good example,
    June 23rd, 2009 1:28 pm ET

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

    I guess the same kind obese people set and recovering alcoholics set.

    June 23, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. Yossarian

    Oh wow...Obama struggling with quitting smoking...

    ...he's...human.

    Good for the new law; bad for this quitting smoking non-issue article.

    June 23, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
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