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. DAVE

    guess clinton got bad info when he bombed them first.
    funny how you all overlook the whole story.
    hearing the same bs everyday about any subject is getting real old

    July 10, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. Brent

    If I don't have to breathe it, then I don't care.

    July 10, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. Trade Freedom for Security, Lose Both

    I care. I don't believe tax dollars should be used to pay for the increased health care costs incurred by idiots hell bent on killing themselves by smoking – even if that idiot is the President. He can smoke, but taxpayers shouldn't have to foot his health care bill.

    July 10, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. Bill

    Who cares, on the other hand he raised taxes on smokes when he said no new taxes....Liar

    July 10, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. LiLa

    Whether President Obama smokes or not is really none of our business. It's not our job to micromanage his life.

    July 10, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. Ian

    You typo police need to get a life. Nowadays with news breaking all the time and articles posted online only, not in print, obviously there are going to be some stories that are put out quickly without a whole lot of editing. Who cares!? You can all tell what the author meant. You guys are just so smug it is sickening!
    And about Obama smoking... I don't care what anyone does to themselves, as long as it doesn't affect others. He already said he doesnt smoke around his kids, if he did that it might be a different story, I think smoking indoors with a family is irresponsible. I also dont like smoke in bars because it affects non smokers, but if he wants to go out and have a smoke every know and then who cares? He has the most stressfull job in the world. It is better than cheating on your spouse...

    July 10, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. Fabian

    Oh the hypocrisy, look at all the people who have a problem with cigarettes, and many of same said people will smoke marijuana or a cigar with a clear conscience. Look I don't have a problem with people smoking MJ but I do have a problem with MJ smokers that have a problem with people that smoke cigarettes. It's all smoke.

    July 10, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. David

    I think this could be President Obama's big chance to show smokers that it is indeed possible to quit simply because it is the correct thing to do.

    The fact that he is still openly struggling with his addiction even though he knows the question will be asked at any given moment is mind-boggling. One would think he would quit if for no other reason than to answer the question NOOOOOOO!!!!!!

    July 10, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. Sandra

    I believe that the issue is about choices and why we make the choices we do. First of all, as president of the US, he is a role model to young people all over the world.
    We have to be the change we want to see in the world. It is not about what we say; it is our actions that speak volumes.
    Secondly, Obama is a really advocate of the environment and smoking is a poisonous pollutant.
    Thirdly, it is about the future of the planet. Tough choices are hard to make. I know that addictions are really hard to break.. It isn't fair to his children, it just sets a bad example and a mixed message.
    Believe me, I am a HUGE supporter of Obama. I think he is doing a tremendous job. Nobody is perfect, but smoking is just so dangerous and the corporations like Phillip Morris exploit the world's poorest nations. Smoking supports them and their message.

    July 10, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. Badger

    I would rather that he quit. He is smart and smart people usually don't smoke.

    July 10, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. GOPBslapper

    Did Americans care that Bush drank? It's none of our business, despite what Faux News tells its brain dead lemmings. For a party (GOP) that claims it wants to stay out of everyones life, it sure cant help but try to insert itself into all our lives.

    July 10, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Shelby

    Let's see an economy in the toilet, 2 wars, health care, climate change, pirates plus EVERY leader in the world "testing" him...please someone give this man a smoke.....If smoking is so bad then ban it!!! I'm sure he's not the first POTUS to smoke but then again he IS black so there's a different standard. How about this CNN maybe you concentrate on your editing and use of grammar rather than what the POTUS does on his own time and has absolutely NO effect on you!!!

    I know you won't post this...but the truth is the truth...get a life!!!!

    July 10, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. jm for sc

    It is sad that people think Hillary has anything to do with the American trust in President Obama. How soon do we forget: Obama won the nomination over Hillary Clinton. No one know what position Hillary would have in his cabin when he won the nomination.

    I hope he will stop smoking for his personal health, however, him smoking does not affect his job.

    My opinion of him is the same because the promise to give up smoking was with his wife not us. Even if it was, I think that when we as citizen can keep every promise such as, eating too much, smoking and other things that are not good for us, then we should hold the president or other elected official to higher or the same standards as we hold ourselves.

    July 10, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. SHARON

    There are a lot more important things for the most powerful man leading the most powerful nation in the world to worry about than that.....
    Grow up and find NEWS

    July 10, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. Charlotte Araki

    I don't care what he does in private. What's with this smoking thing. I hear statistic after statistic but what about alcohol, prescription drugs and illegal drugs. What are they costing us. One researcher I know says it is a clever attention redirect and completely hypocritical. I would rather have Pres. Obama out back having a puff then a lot of other things that have been done at the White House!

    July 10, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  16. Jason

    I don't care if Obama smokes, but it's not being a good role model for the youth (or adults) of America. I think a U.S. President should be a role model. Maybe we should have the folks at Disney create a Wax Replica of Obama puffing on a Pall Mall during his big speech in the Hall of Presidents.

    July 10, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  17. Steven - ILL

    If Obama has a smoke .. Its his own business..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.
    It his choice !!!!

    July 10, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    This is more important than sex scandals. Right on!

    July 10, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. Rachel

    How is this even remotely newsworthy? As if the grammatical error in the headline wasn't enough, the content in the body of this article is frivolous, uninspiring and unreadable. I'd much rather read FACTS about the wonderful things Mr. Obama is doing for this country.

    July 10, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  20. Steven - ILL

    If Obama smokes its his own personal business!! 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. Its Obama choice ..

    July 10, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  21. Legna

    Practice what you preach, but based on what I have seen and heard from him proves he is either a hypocrite or a deceptive individual.

    July 10, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. Commen Sense Reality Check

    And who has to foot the medical bills for his lung cancer... Oh... yeah, that's right... all of us who are paying the taxes for the universal health care.... so why does he care?

    July 10, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  23. Kendall

    As long as he doesn't get to smoke in restaurant like the rest of us, who cares.

    REALLY WHO CARES

    July 10, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  24. Mica M

    Smoking soothes the nerves. If he feels the need to
    go out for a smoke, that's his right!
    Better than going out for few drinks!
    Alcohol costs America billions $$$$$ more in
    health care costs,
    court & legal fees,
    jail costs,
    rehab costs and
    death related costs than tobacco.
    But then, it isn't politically savvy to attack the alcohol industry.
    I'd rather fly with a pilot who smokes than one who drinks.

    July 10, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. Charlie Kraebel

    Yet another point the far-right has gotten wrong.

    They claim Obama wants to rule America with an iron fist.

    As it turns out, he's working on ruling America with an iron lung.

    Come on, this isn't news.

    July 10, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
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