June 13th, 2007
09:26 AM ET
12 years ago

Obama lends struggling smoker a hand

Watch Obama help out a struggling smoker Tuesday.

(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama parted with some of his nicotine gum at a Los Angeles campaign stop Tuesday to help a man having trouble kicking the habit.

At a gas station where the Illinois Democrat discussed his plan for a low carbon fuel standard, a man asked if he still smoked cigarettes.

Obama, who has said he quit smoking before his presidential campaign under pressure from his wife, replied, “I do not.”

When the man asked how Obama was able to quit, the Democratic presidential hopeful said, “Nicorette. You want one?”

With that, Obama grabbed his own pack and tossed the man two pieces, saying, “Here, try one out.”

To laughter, Obama added, “That’s two milligrams. I only had like three or four cigarettes a day when I smoked. If you’re a heavier smoker, you may need the four milligram. It’s not bad, though. It works.”

- CNN Political Desk Manager Steve Brusk

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Aaron Lynch, Lynnwood, WA

    Obama thinks the 2nd amendment is about hunting, not about self defense or protecting our liberty. I can't support a candidate that picks and chooses their way through the constitution...

    ...Which really sucks, because aside from that I really like the guy. Too bad. I'd vote for a puppy killing, football hating martian if I thought he'd uphold the constitution and protect our freedom.

    June 12, 2007 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  2. August J. Pollak

    That... almost... has something to do with this story...

    June 13, 2007 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  3. Will - Miami, FL

    Wow. Ron Paul talks about ending the Iraq war, disolving the IRS, implimenting a fair tax policy, and fixing healthcare and the economy and the media only reports that he flew first class.

    Obama gives someone a peice of gum and the "journalists" have an Obamagasmn over it. Can't wait for the next installment – "Obmama parts water for immigrants fleeing the evil boarder guards..."

    June 13, 2007 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. Chris, CT

    This is the type of unscripted moment that can give us real insight into his true character. Looks like he just might be the real thing.

    June 13, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  5. NBarlow, Naples Florida

    From what I have seen as a casual, but very interested, observer, Obama does seem like a sincere individual and I do not doubt that he would handle foreign policy with class, act with regard to the future of the environment, and encourage legislation to benefit lower and middle economic classes. What I do fear is his ability to stand up to self-interested parties, each with their own agenda, that would surround him once in office.
    Which is why I would like to see a Clinton-Obama ticket, which of course isn't going to happen.

    June 13, 2007 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. Steve, Statesboro GA

    A politician actually giving someone something? Amazing, even if it's only gum.
    Now, bring on the FOX attack blondes to call Obama the bubblegum candidate and severely criticize him for bubblegum use. With any luck we can change the focus of this whole election from Iraq and Lawyergate to bubblegum and cigarettes.

    June 13, 2007 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  7. Steve, Indianapolis, IN

    Obama gets some decent press for a change. Next we will see Edwards try to piggyback by loaning some hairspray to a homeless woman and Hillary declaring that she doesn't believe in giving people things – that it's the first step to socialism.

    June 13, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  8. J.A. Dp, Lakewood, CO

    Although Aaron’s responses on the 2nd amendment had little, if anything, to do with the smoker issue, it needs to be addressed.
    Obama’s statement that the 2nd amendment meant guns were for hunting (if that’s what he said), is of course wrong. However, the common perception of the meaning of the 2nd is also wrong. The 2nd is not an inalienable right, it is a provisional right; in fact it is the only provisional right in the Constitution. “A well regulated militia being necessary to a free State ...”, is that provision. The amendment was necessary to sway a number of states, particularly the southern states, to approve the Bill of Rights. The arms for the various state militias were provided by the Federal government, (Art. I, Section 8) and were kept in centralized armories, the states insisted they not be in centralized locations (where they could be easily confiscated by the Fed.), but rather, in the hands of the individual militiaman (...to keep...). Further, the Federal government could not prevent the individual militiaman from using those arms in the service of the various States (...and bear arms...).
    The reason that the issue of arms is in the Constitution is for that rather, very specific, reason. There are no rights or restrictions on the non-militia population because guns were an essential and ubiquitous tool in frontier American; writing amendments about individual ownership of guns made no more sense than writing an amendment about plows.

    June 13, 2007 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  9. Aaron Lynch, Lynnwood, WA

    Lexington and Concord weren't about plows.

    June 13, 2007 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  10. J.A. Dp, Lakewood, CO

    Lexington and Concord (1775) occurred 16 years prior to the ratification of the 2nd amendment (1791). I fail to see the connection between the two.

    June 14, 2007 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. Aaron Lynch, Lynnwood, WA

    You are correct. Congratulations. What was the catalist of that incident? The british were marching to confiscate arms from the colonists. You don't think that had something to do with the founding fathers' idea of the 2nd amendment? Have you even read the federalist papers?

    June 14, 2007 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. Wholahay, Bronx, NY

    Does Obama get a paid endorsement from nicorette now? Is that considered a campaign donation?

    June 14, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  13. Ann Brunswick ME

    Why? It is none of his business whether someone smokes or not, nor is it the business of government to dictate behavior to its citizens. This is still America, right?

    June 15, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |