July 10th, 2009
02:00 PM ET
5 years ago

CNN Poll: Do American care if Obama smokes?

President Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act on June 22.
President Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act on June 22.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Most Americans say that President Barack Obama's struggle to quit smoking doesn't change their views of him, according to a new national poll.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday also indicates that only a third say that they would like to see Obama give up cigarettes completely.

"Obama has admitted that he still smokes on occasion, but nearly nine in 10 Americans say that doesn't affect their view of him and only 12 percent think that indicates something negative about Obama himself," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Eighty-five percent believe that shows how hard it is to quit cigarettes."

One third of those questioned in the survey say that they would prefer that Obama never smoke again, with 18 percent feeling that an occasional cigarette is OK and 48 percent saying they would not mind if Obama smoked every day.

The poll suggests no ideological divide over the president's habit.

"Liberals are accused of getting into people's business. Do they care if President Obama smokes? No. About half say it's OK with them if he smokes every day," says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider. "Conservatives? About half of conservatives also say it's also OK with them if the president smokes every day."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted June 26-28, with 1,026 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: CNN Polls • President Obama
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. Political Science Major

    Praise Obama and report tabloid rumors about Republicans on CNN's Political Ticker. That how we do it! If you say anything bad about our Dear Leader Obama, you will be sent to prison. CNN The New State Controlled Media.

    July 10, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. 60's survivor

    his business his fight!! at least he knows the addictive power of nicotine and can set the bar to prevent more to be caught up with the big deception promoted by tobacco companies in the past. a major cause of many health care concerns and expense

    July 10, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  3. Dale

    The more people smoke the more I make money on my Phillip Morris stock' so keep smoke Mr President and all you other smokers out here, thanks for helping me make money while you slowly shorten your lives.

    July 10, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. Chris - Seattle

    Cigarettes aren't illegal, nor is alcohol, which I'd assume he consumes a little bit of just like most people in the world that can afford to. The day I see or hear of him hitting a bong like Phelps, I'm gonna do cartwheels in the streets. Because then Pres. Obama will probably break a few world records on peace, healthcare, environment, economy, bigotry and so forth and so on...Hopefully in his second term he'll legalize the industrial, medicinal & personal useage of pot! If not all three than at least the first two, so the world can begin to heal itself and make a few billion and save a lot of lives to boot! I love my Pres., smoker or not! He's a breathe of fresh air everyday for me, especially while I read these defaming and distracting blogs from the Obama haters!!!

    July 10, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. Anny

    Whats it matter if he smokes or not........if Republicans can have sex with other women instead of their wifes then President Obama's smoking is trivial

    July 10, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. JT

    I think a smoker understands most how difficult it can be to quit and how it's easier to never start smoking than to try and quit. I'm glad there's finally some more anti-tobacco policy.

    July 10, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. lovable liberal

    Next up: Do Americans care if President Obama has big ears? It's a burning question that requires an answer, never mind the economy, health care, the restoration of Constitutional government, etc.

    If someone called to ask me such a vacuous question as the smoking question, I'd think it was a radio station prank, not a poll.

    July 10, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  8. LINDSAY

    YES, I care that POTUS smokes. Not because of his position as much as for his own HEALTH sake. I would like to see that he is healthy and able to withstand all the pressures of the Office. The stress and demand is so great on his life. I think smoking compunds the matter causing a higher risk of illness. I would like to see him complete all eight years of his term and walk away able to continue to enjoy his life with his family. He is already 'greying' too quickly.

    July 10, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. Casey Mack

    He can smoke all he wants, he is helping America by paying Cigarette taxes! Go Obama!

    July 10, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. Daniel Brown

    I don't care if he smokes a bong so long as he keeps up the good work reversing Bush policies and gives us healthcare refrom.

    July 10, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. Anthony

    Why is this even a CNN story?

    July 10, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  12. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    Obama's smoking is just about the only thing about him that I like. It's the only thing he does that actually shuns political correctness and shows independence of thought.......just don't do it around me, Mr. Prez.

    July 10, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  13. liberals are lemmings

    who cares if he smokes. but i say he should smoke about 9 cartons a day

    July 10, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. Niky

    Kind of... we want him to be healthy.

    July 10, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  15. sensible Cape Coral Fl

    While smoking is a bad habit, it does make President Obama more like the rest of us. We all struggle with our inner selves to become better persons. I wish him the best of luck.

    July 10, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. No one famous

    With his health benefits we should all care............just more careless spending from this administration.

    July 10, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. bess

    An additction is an addition; be it nicotine, drugs, or alcohol.

    July 10, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. Sue B

    Nobody's perfect and I would rather have someone in office with an imperfection that's right out in the open than some sort of behind the scenes scandal going on like a lot of these infidelity cases that have been exposed lately. I don't care if Obama smokes, if it helps him to deal with the massive pressure of being President and do a good job, I'll buy him a whole carton!

    July 10, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  19. Tim

    He should appoint himself the healthcare czar, in line with Geithner-the-tax-cheat tax czar.

    July 10, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  20. Patman

    With everything going on in the world and in this country really affecting our lives, you were actually motivated to do a poll on this? CNN you stink!

    July 10, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  21. A. Goodwin

    As an ex-smoker, I understand how hard it is to kick the habit. The simple fact that he has been open about this shows that he is a human being, like the rest of us, who has his own struggles. And frankly, I can appreciate that about him.

    The rethuglican's call him the Messiah...I call him a normal human being just the like rest of us. Frankly, I like him that way.

    July 10, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. G NO P

    next cnn poll..do americans care if the president showers? we see rite tru u cnn!

    July 10, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. tom

    He should step up to the plate and quit. At least we'll see some of the 'change' he promised us.

    July 10, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. Rose

    Obama,Promise Change Hi not chnage for himself ?
    Like stop smoking?

    Be the change that you want to see in the world. – Mohandas Ghandi

    July 10, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. Rose

    Obama,Promise Change Hi not change for himself ?
    Like stop smoking?

    Be the change that you want to see in the world. – Mohandas Ghandi

    July 10, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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