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Obama "struggling" to control smoking habit

As he decries the “harmful, addictive, and often deadly effects of tobacco products,” Obama continues his fight to quit.

By Michael A. FletcherThe Washington Post / June 16, 2009



WASHINGTON

Does President Obama still smoke?

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White House press secretary Robert Gibbs would not say, 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 last week 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."