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. Michael, Gallatin, TN

    I don't care if Obama smokes, drinks, or curses if doing so will in any way help him solve even some of the problems Bush and the GOP created.

    July 10, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. Gracie, MD

    OMG, is this a SLOW news day CNN? We are talking about smoking and who smokes and who doesn't.

    ENOUGH with the senseless reporting. There is a LOT more important issues to focus on than President Obama's smoking. He CLEARLY stated he battles with his smoking habit. HOW many ways can he state this fact? Jesus.......

    July 10, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  3. Deb Smith

    It would be better for his health and that of the people around him if he did not smoke., and he would be a better role model if he did not smoke. Nobody's perfect , and he could have worse flaws than this, I suggest we appreciate him for his strenghths.

    July 10, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  4. Darlene Weege

    President Obama has made a concerted effort to fight for health insurance coverage for all. To achieve this goal the cost of health insurance must be driven down. Lung disease is costly to treat. Lung cancer is costly to treat. Pancreatic cancer, also caused by smoking is costly to treat. Throat cancer, also caused by smoking is costly to treat. There may be a link to smoking and other cancers as well. Insurance companies are paying out huge amounts of money to treat what could be a preventable illness. President Obama is not endorsing cigarette smoking but by continuing to do so he sends a message that is counterproductive to his goal of affordable health care.

    July 10, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. JoJo

    I have noticed that since Obama took office the price of a pack of cigarette went up 2.00 dollars.

    July 10, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  6. Predicta

    His smoking is the only one of his policies that I like.

    July 10, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  7. Chad

    @mississippi mike

    Are you for real? What kind of example is he setting? Your mind is so twisted that you don't know the difference between a good example and bad example. The POTUS openly talking about his struggles with addiction to smoking and the trials of quitting is setting a great example! Setting a bad exampe would be to keep smoking openly and telling people to butt out of his life! He on the other had is admitting he made a mistake by ever starting and is trying to quit...what more do you want the man to do?

    I have a feeling he could cure AIDS and you would find something to complain about. Do you go down to AA meeting and tell them what bad examples they all are too? Ripping someone who is trying to better themselves and struggling shows you are of low character. Kind of person who kicks puppies and screams at elderly folks.

    July 10, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  8. Robert

    I don't care if the President is human, we all have our vices. I DO care, however, that CNN is supposed to be a respected news source and yet they have headlines like, "Do American care if Obama smokes?"

    July 10, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  9. Robert

    It is fitting that Obama still smokes. It is part of his personality and his political policies: sign a bill to ban smoking but oh ya – it doesn't apply to him! Two faced as usual!

    July 10, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. T Mckinley

    Why is this even an issue?

    July 10, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. Right Wing

    It wouldn't bother me at all if he smoked two or more packs a day

    July 10, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  12. johnnie

    come on cnn , what is that got to do wtih ,whats really going on in the country ,what about sanford, or esign, or some substance.

    July 10, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  13. Vern

    I don't care if President Obama smokes..he's a grown man!!!

    July 10, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  14. Larry, MI

    YES, we care a lot because we want him to live a long, long life. I think it's a shame that the good people die young. The cantankerous old farts who make everyone around them miserable live forever and forever, like Rush Stupid Limbreath. But people like Barack, are not on this earth long enough.

    I hope the president will stop smoking. Not only does his family need him, but we need him as well.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    July 10, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. Elaine AR

    Heck no it's his lungs!

    July 10, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  16. No Hillary = No Obama

    Obama smokes – that's his maladaptive coping mechanism – see his hair turn gray right before your eyes. What does this say – his ability to handle stress is weak and he's the President! What Obama is most is a "Gestural President", that's what you do when there is no substance.

    July 10, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  17. Mianna, PA

    Give me a break.

    Smoking cigarettes is bad and effects the person who is smoking the most. I want Barack to stop, but he's an adult.

    Torchering, lying about wars, wire taping, killing over 4,000 men and women hurt the entire US. Don't you dare talk about Barack and smoking when Bush blew up our entire Constitution.

    No wonder GW Bush is the 7th Worst President Ever.

    July 10, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  18. Zero.

    "It's Your Lob".

    July 10, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  19. Briar, TX

    Oh by the way. Since Sarah Pailin ran for the governorship because she wanted to make some money. Why on earth would she stay on when she's got a new book deal. She get the money, laughs all the way to the bank because she suckered the people of Alaska–and doesn't have to deal with Alaska's problems.

    She suckered John McCain, she suckered his staff, she suckered the GOPers and now she wants to sucker the rest of America with that stupid book, that she wouldn't be able to write if you strapped pens on all of her hands and toes.

    But I must admit, Miss Brainless is getting the last laugh. Whooboy.

    July 10, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  20. turn Texas blue

    I dont care if he smokes.Hes getting the job done,not like the fake cowboys we had the last time that couldnt even ride a horse or catch the bad guys..

    July 10, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  21. Teresa, MO

    Smoking is not good for anyone, and I hope the president stops. He won't be the first president to stop, and I'm sure he won't be the last. He is the best president we've had in a very long time, so I hope he stops. I'll be honest, it bother me, but George W. Bush's disrepect of the Constitution and the US government bothered me more. I'll take the smoking, over chasing women, lying to Congress, wire taping, starting senseless wars-ANY DAY.

    July 10, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  22. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Obama is trying to quit and that is a good start. My brother is trying to quit too.

    They both know it is tough.

    My sister can't quit eating doughnuts and she's going to die of a heart attack.

    July 10, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  23. Texas

    "LET HE WITHOUT SIN, CAST THE 1ST STONE"...
    It is not my ( or yours) place to judge Pres Obama, or anyone..I dont think his smoking is anyones buisness as he is NOT blowing smoke in anyones face etc..there are way too many other things to be concerned with...Lighten up on him folks, for by the grace of God it isnt yOU...

    July 10, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  24. Joe the Troll

    No Hillary = No Obama July 10th, 2009 5:49 pm ET

    Obama smokes – that's his maladaptive coping mechanism – see his hair turn gray right before your eyes. What does this say – his ability to handle stress is weak and he's the President! What Obama is most is a "Gestural President", that's what you do when there is no substance.

    ................................................................................................................................

    Ever notice what happened to W's hair over his term?

    July 10, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  25. Elly

    who cares, it's his lungs. As long as he doesn't smoke near me.

    July 10, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
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