Chicago Sun-Times
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Obama may still be smoking; warns about tobacco dangers

| 8 Comments

WASHINGTON -- Judging from White House press secretary Robert Gibbs' roundabout answer Friday, one can conclude that President Obama still might occasionally sneak a smoke -- even though smoking is not allowed in the White House.

The question about Obama's struggle to quit smoking came up at Friday's White House briefing as Obama applauded Congress for sending him a bill giving the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate tobacco.

"We've known for years, even decades, about the harmful, addictive and often deadly effects of tobacco products,'' Obama said in the Rose Garden.

When Obama was mulling a presidential run and trying to get wife Michelle on board, he said she demanded he quit smoking if he got in the race. Obama had tried to hide his smoking while he was a senator. Last December, Tom Brokaw on NBC's "Meet the Press" asked Obama directly if he had stopped smoking.

"You know, I have, but what I said [in an earlier interview] was that, you know, there are times where I've fallen off the wagon," Obama replied.

Brokaw protested the answer, telling Obama, "Then that means you haven't stopped."

Replied Obama, "Well, the -- fair enough. What I would say is ... that you will not see any violations of these rules in the White House."

Fast forward to Friday, when Gibbs was asked "if smoking continues to be a struggle for the president?"

He replied, "I think the president would likely tell you, as I think many -- anybody would that has smoked or been addicted to smoking -- that it is a lifelong struggle."

Another reporter tried again, more directly. "Do you know, does President Obama still sometimes smoke?"

"Again, I would simply tell you I think it's a -- struggling with nicotine addiction is something that happens every day."

During the campaign, Obama chewed Nicorette, a gum designed to curb tobacco cravings. Asked if Obama were still on Nicorette, Gibbs said, "I assume so, yes."

8 Comments

What?

The Saviour of the World doesn't have enough self-mastery to "just say no"?!

Pathethic.

Of course, the cognitive dissonance between his campaign rhetoric and the realities of his policy probably have his stress levels in uncharted territory.

I wonder if our commander in chief is taking out his frustrations at his own inability to quit on the tobacco companies.

As much as I am against smoking I still think people should have the right to choose if they're gonna smoke cigarettes or not. In the end there is enough information already out there that people should be able to make decisions and live with them. Not have the government baby and protect them from their own bad habits.

Obama is a SMOKER! What kind of an example is he setting for his 2 young children.....do as I say not as I do?! Smoking is a sign of weakness, this is why he does not smoke at will or in front of the press.

BREAL

Do not blame me, I did not vote for Obama.

So, President Obama is punishing the tobacco industry for his own personal weakness. So far, his presidency has been all about exacting revenge and seeking recompense and reparations for what he believes are America's past sins. It is a very myopic and dangerous misuse of power.

Seriously, who CARES! Who cares if he smokes. How many people are out there smoking today?? I'm sure Obama is not the sole cause of Phillip Morris being BILLIONAIRS! Just drop it already. Find something else to complain about. Its not illegal to smoke a cigarrette. Now, if someone caught him with a bag of pot and said he was smoking THAT in the White House -- we should be concerned.....but, not this.

Drop it already. Last time I checked, the only perfect person that ever lived was Jesus. And as He said "Let he who hath NO SIN cast the first stone."

I SEE SOME OF YOU ARE JOHNNY COME LATELYS, YOU MEAN HE SMOKES, DA, THAT'S BEEN OUT THERE FOR YEARS, REMEMBER THE WHITE HOUSE IS A SMOKE FREE ENVIRONMENT, SO HE ISN'T SMOKING THERE!
SOME OF YOU DON'T WANT TO ADMIT YOU HAVE FAULTS AND THAT THE ELECTION IS OVER!
WELL HERE IS A NEWS FLASH, BARACK OBAMA IS THE 44TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!
BELIEVE IT OR LET IT ALONE!
SHAME ON THE MAN FROM SOUTH CAROLINA FOR THAT BLOG AGAINST MRS. OBAMA, LIKE ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER SAID, PEOPLE STILL DO COWARDLY ACTS!

THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD IS JESUS!
PLEASE READ YOUR BIBLE, YOU WON'T FIND THE NAME OBAMA ANYWHERE IN THAT BOOK, BUT HE IS A GREAT MAN, HE JUST ISN'T JESUS, AND THE PRESIDENT WILL TELL YOU THAT!
SMOKING IS A VERY DIFFICULT THING TO OVERCOME, THE NICOTINE IN CIGARETTES IS VERY POTENT TO WITHDRAW FROM, AND WITH PEOPLE LIKE YOU, YOU MAKE ME WANT TO LIGHT ONE UP, AND I DON'T EVEN SMOKE!

Out of the four leading causes of death smoking is a risk factor for all of them. Here is a health care plan - don't smoke! Here is a clean air act- don't smoke! Mr. Obama is not much older from me and I can tell you not as many people smoke from his generation as in previous ones. Yes, smoking is an addictive legal DRUG habit- so no wonder he struggles with quitting. Wasn't he listening to the messages that were bombarded on our generation year after year in school. The media should stop talking about how fit he looks - it is just an illusion.

Why can't he just answer questions straight instead of in a round about way.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 13, 2009 8:16 AM.

"Smoke your lettuce;" House debating tobacco regulation bill was the previous entry in this blog.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright apologizes about blaming "them Jews" for keeping him from Obama is the next entry in this blog.

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