Michelle Obama Weighs in on Husband's Smoking

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters he hasn't seen President Barack Obama smoke or seen evidence that the president has smoked a cigarette in about nine months. This comes on the day of a new Surgeon General warning. (Dec. 9)
By Anne E. Kornblut
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 11, 2007; 9:10 PM

CHICAGO, Feb. 11 -- Michelle Obama says she agreed to help her husband run for president on one condition: That he finally quit smoking. For good.

"I hate it," she said on CBS' 60 Minutes, according to a transcript released Sunday. "That's why he doesn't do it anymore. I'm proud to say. I outed him -- I'm the one who outed him on the smoking. That was one of my prerequisites for, you know, entering this race, is that, you know, he couldn't be a smoking president."

Obama has struggled to quit smoking for years, but friends have said he finally stopped several weeks ago. At the end of a press conference on Sunday, the Illinois senator returned to the podium when a reporter shouted out asking whether he was still smoking.

"No," he said. "I've been chewing Nicorette all day long."

And indeed, he was spotted chewing away on board "Obama One," as the chartered flight between Illinois and Iowa was called.

Might Obama sneak a puff in between trips on the road, as he has done in the past?

Less likely these days, his wife said.

"Please, America, watch," she said. "Keep an eye on him, and call me," she said laughing, "if you see him smoking."

© 2007 The Washington Post Company