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. David

    Which American was surveyed? Your headline says "American," not "Americans," therefore only one American must have been surveyed. I cannot answer your question unless I know which American was surveyed.

    July 10, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. Pete East

    Smoke em if you got em Mr. President.

    July 10, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. to tcm,southern cousins and phoenix 86

    the rightwing babies will soon tell you how this shows he needs to be criticised,guess what guys?remove the log in your eyes before whinnig about another.he is not perfect.and he doesnt pretend to be.

    July 10, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  4. Shadysider

    I don't care if Obama smokes or not. What I do care about is raising the price on cigarettes in order to pay for health care. Booooooooo!!!!!!!!

    July 10, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. Fritz

    Probably half of this viewing audience had battled cessation from smoking. Yes, it's a bear to quite. I smoked for 25 years and tried everything to quit: bottom line is that it takes will power and that alone. Any American who has a problem with this should probably just move to Pyongyang and be done with it.

    At least, unlike his Republican j-off critics (read: Rush Limbaugh) he's openly admitting something addicting and it's neither illegal nor apt to get you in an embarrassing (read: like pain killers – nothing like taking oxy- or hydrocodone for a papercut, eh Rush?).

    July 10, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. chad

    Incredible. Obama smokes?????? I had no idea. I hate to say my opinion of him dropped a little!

    July 10, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. Robrob

    Only a RWnut would care.

    RWnut "logic" =

    Invade wrong country on bogus intell = good.

    Sneak outside for a smoke = bad.

    July 10, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. Polar Bears Against Palin

    What a ridiculous poll. CNN, stop putting every stupid thing under a microscope.

    By the way, I have my problems with Obama. But, when are people going to start giving him credit for stopping the bleeding with the banks? Or, the fact that he potenially saved GM?

    July 10, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  9. Randy

    Who cares if he smoke's if that is all the American people had to worry about then we are in good shape.

    July 10, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  10. Steve (the real one)

    Yet another meaningless poll! Nothing else going on today that's news worthy?

    July 10, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  11. truthsayer

    Get this crap outtahere

    July 10, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  12. Christian

    Ironic, the congress is talking about banning smoking on military facilities, but there is nothing being mentioned about the Commander in Chief smoking on government property.

    July 10, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. Illinois Native

    Why in hades is this considered "news"? Honestly, we've lost sight of "President Obama" and instead treat "Barack Obama" as if he were a super star. I'm starting to believe that most people voted for the hype and not the man or his views.

    July 10, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. Jack in Denver

    Rerublicans are soooooooooooooooo desperate to find something on this guy, anything, and all they have is this?!?!?!?

    July 10, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    OK, so yea it is a bad example to be setting...

    However aside from that, no I don't care and can't see why anyone else would.

    July 10, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  16. SMP

    Who cares, as long as he doesn't smoke in front of his daughters.

    July 10, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  17. Dave

    No, but American do care about silly grammatical mistakes on major news websites.

    July 10, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  18. Jenny

    Jenny poll: Do CNN care about subject-verb agreement?

    July 10, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  19. Why is EVERYTHING someone elses business?

    Who cares. Smokers have been made out to be scapegoats. What about aggressive drivers, obese people, those who view porn, shout and holler and have no respect??? We ALL have our faults and idiosyncrasies. It's just that some people take things to the extreme in order to point fingers at the ones who do have them [and WE all do] just to "reflect" the "shame" away from themselves and try to feel better than other people. We need to LQQK inside ourselves b4 we point fingers!

    July 10, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  20. Butch Dillon

    He should stop smoking altogether. Smoking the "occasional" cigarette is a pointless habit. Why do it at all if he doesn't have a legitimate addiction?

    July 10, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  21. Mac

    I think being a smoker humanizes him to some degree. I for one would like to see him quit because I'd like to think he would be healthy as an example to his kids and youth everywhere, but whether or not he smokes doesn't really affect his ability to be a leader in any way. Ultimately, its really not a big deal.

    July 10, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  22. TCM

    " Do American care if Obama smokes?"

    haha...who proofs your articles? I think most Americans wish Obama would just go back to Chicago.....smoking or not....

    July 10, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  23. Joe

    Who gives a SHHH now excuse me ima go smoke a marlboro.

    July 10, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  24. Mary

    Mr. President, Step out into the rose garden, light up a cigarette and RELAX!! The world will not end, promise!

    July 10, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  25. Overby

    Smokers spend all their time thinking about when they're going to get their next smoke. Obviously he should stop so he could be thinking more clearly about all these zillions of programs that aren't working and about spending zillions of our dollars that our kids and grandkids will have to pay off.

    July 10, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
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