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. Jason Spicer

    Do Americans care if CNN can use proper grammar? Apparently not, otherwise why would the title line say "Do American care if.." I think CNN meant to write "Do AmericanS...", plural.

    July 10, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  2. montag24

    I couldn't care less if the President smokes or not. Live and let live, I say.

    I will admit, though, that I'd like to see him smoke a pipe rather than cigarettes. Better for his health and definitely more dignified. It's been a long time since we had a pipe smoker in the Oval Office.

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

    I hate smoking , but not the smoker, so prefer he kick the habit. To me is is just an unclassy thing to do .

    July 10, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. EDB

    Were any of these people asked if they would mind if Obama sat down next to them or their children and lit up?

    July 10, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  5. Tom

    Do American care that there am no editors anymore?

    July 10, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. Me

    It doesn't bother me at all, but I'll bet there are plenty of people out there who will be all over another excuse to hate the man. The President has to be making decisions constantly and some of them life or death. If a smoke helps him concentrate instead of sitting there trying to fight the craving, go for it!

    July 10, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  7. lkinopfl

    2 words - TOTALLY unimportant!!!

    July 10, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. Martin

    "Do American Care" typo in headline. Who writes this crap?

    July 10, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. Tami

    It isn't against the law and he doesn't do it around his children. It isn't our place to care or not.

    July 10, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  10. Really?

    CNN! What is going on? How did any of you get hired? The title should read "American(s)". The typos are mounting. The link titles do not reflect the videos. What are you guys doing beside making a bad name for journalism?

    There errors are simply neglect and laziness. Get with it!

    July 10, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. JT from MO

    I think that he is working his butt off to fix this country, and while I am personally against smoking, if he does that, it is his own business. Again, if he is working and trying his best, what he does with his health is his own business. Besides, he is trying to quit. I have family members who have tried multiple times to quit, and they have failed or had some bumps in the road. " United we stand, Divided we fall."

    July 10, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. bernice

    Yes I care. If he thinks he can regulate what I eat and drink and whether I can smoke on my own porch then, yea, I care if he smokes.

    July 10, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. peter

    Talk of digging the dirt. Leave him alone. We love him the way he came to us!

    July 10, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  14. Al in Florida

    hey folks its a free country...

    Michael Jackson can do drugs,
    Obama can smoke,
    Pelosi can lie to congress,
    OJ can kill spouses...

    But you can be a Gov from Alaska and say betcha.

    July 10, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. carol

    Tom July 10th, 2009 3:19 pm ET

    Do American care that there am no editors anymore?

    lol, they are in a hurry to bash the President. Did you see the photo of non issue that was going around in the morning?

    July 10, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  16. Joe

    I don't care at all. It's not against the law.

    July 10, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. AXH

    Always a double standard...if he was Republican all of you would be complaining about the medical care a smoker needs...etc. etc.

    Give me a break...if the man wants to die of lung cancer, then let him.

    July 10, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. Fair is Fair

    What kind does he smoke? I'll pony up for a few cartons.

    July 10, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. Polar Bears Against Palin

    Hey, Al in Florida? And, Bush and Cheney can lie us into a war that has killed thousands.

    July 10, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  20. Chad

    Kennedy and Clinton chased skirts, Bush ,among many other presidents, (hell, Jefferson grew weed...gasp!) drank and Obama smokes. What do all of these guys have in common besides being President? They are all HUMAN! Humans have vices, whether it be chocolate or drugs.

    July 10, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  21. Terry, Florida

    At least he can afford to smoke. After a $10 a carton tax increase on July 1, on top of other increases, it is becoming harder for the ordinary person to keep their habit going. What happened to 'no tax increase for those earning under $250,000'???

    Wait, there's more to come suckers.

    July 10, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  22. I'll be back aka Sarah Lives

    Hey Al in Fl, i'm with you man

    Hillary will leave her job within 2 years, Obama will drop in popurality...

    Democrats will be running away from him in the next election..

    Go Palin

    Sarah Lives

    July 10, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  23. Joe Publicini

    I don't care if he smokes, most American's do not care if he smokes. It's his right. The problem is anti smoking militant wackos that want to police peoples habits. They are the ones that need a hobby.

    July 10, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. Mississippi Mike

    I care. What kind of example does that set?

    July 10, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  25. Milton Williams

    It makes absolutly no difference if President Obama smokes or not, it's not the healthest habit in the world, but it has no connection as to wheather he can do the job for which he was elected. I wish him all the luck in the world trying to fix the mess Bush/Cheney left the Country in.

    July 10, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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