Obama ‘Struggling' to Control Smoking Habit

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Does President Obama still smoke?

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs would not say yesterday, but he acknowledged that the president continues to struggle to control his habit.

"I would simply tell you I think struggling with a nicotine addiction is something that happens every day," Gibbs told reporters.

On the campaign trail last year, Obama talked about his fight to kick smoking, and he has admitted to sometimes falling off the wagon. As he campaigned for president, he was often spotted chewing Nicorette gum, which helps controls the craving for nicotine.

Obama has promised not to smoke in the White House, although it was unclear whether he meant that in the most narrow sense.

The question arose after Obama praised Congress yesterday for passing legislation that would allow the federal government to regulate tobacco more closely. In his remarks in the Rose Garden, Obama decried the "harmful, addictive and often deadly effects of tobacco products."

-- Michael A. Fletcher

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