WASHINGTON–President Obama has not smoked for “almost a year,” First Lady Michelle Obama said on Tuesday.
Obama had been trying to stop smoking since the end of 2007, when Mrs. Obama made his quitting a condition of getting her support for him to run for president.
Mrs. Obama reflected on the president’s successful struggle to quit smoking during a lunch with the print beat reporters from the Sun-Times and other outlets covering her, organized to mark the first anniversary on Wednesday of her “Let’s Move” anti-childhood obesity campaign.
Asked to clarify reports about Obama’s smoking and whether he kicked the habit, Mrs. Obama said, “Yes he has, yes he has. Very proud,” she added. “Totally.”
“It’s been almost a year,” Mrs. Obama said. “…But I don’t know exactly when because he never smoked a lot to begin with, so I never saw him smoke.” If one wanted to know more about his smoking habit, “You have to talk to him.”
She said she does not ask him a lot about how he stopped smoking. She is happy for her kids he did.
“It’s not like, ‘have you smoked today, have you smoked today.” But I know that it has been awhile. And I am very proud of him.”
Asked how the president finally stopped smoking, Mrs. Obama said, ‘he’s always wanted to stop, I think our kids are getting to the age where he wants to be able to look them in the face, because they want to know, ‘you don’t smoke, do you dad?’ He wants to be able to say nope. It’s always really for the kids, I haven’t really poked and prodded him on this because when somebody is doing the right thing, you don’t mess with him.”
Obama discussed his smoking–and his use of Nicorette–in 2008.
“I’ve been chewing on this Nicorette, which tastes like you’re chewing on ground pepper – but it does help,” then Senator Obama said in an interview that aired in February, 2008 on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”