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Posted at 2:13 PM ET, 02/ 8/2011

Michelle Obama: The president has quit smoking

By Nia-Malika Henderson

Michelle Obama confirmed Tuesday that her husband has kicked his decades-long smoking habit.

At a reporter's luncheon in the Old Family dining room, Michelle Obama said that it has been "almost a year," since her husband has picked up a cigarette.

"It's been a while and I'm very proud of him," she said during an hour-long conversation with reporters and her senior staff to discuss her anti-childhood obesity initiative. "I haven't poked and prodded. When somebody is doing the right thing, you don't mess with them."

Obama said that she didn't know exactly when the president stopped because "he never smoked a lot."

"I don't have a discussion with him because its always been...it's a personal challenge for him," she said. "Its not something that I can be like 'Have you smoked today, have you smoked today?"

"He has always wanted to stop, our kids are getting to the age where he wants to look them in the face because they want to know, 'You don't smoke do you dad?'" She said. "He wants to be able to say no."

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said later that there is a sort of kick-the-habit support group at the White House--Obama's golfing buddy and trip director Marvin Nicholson also stopped smoking.

The first lady is marking the first anniversary of her Let's Move initiative with a media blitz. Wednesday she'll appear on the "Today Show" and on "Live with Regis and Kelly." She will also travel to Atlanta. She said that the hamburger and kielbasa menu for Sunday's Super Bowl party was appropriate and didn't step on her healthy-eating platform.

"The problem is when that fun stuff becomes the habit," she said. "Fast food has become the every day meal. "

By Nia-Malika Henderson  | February 8, 2011; 2:13 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Next: Obama to lunch Wednesday with congressional GOP leaders

Comments

Can't you pathetic, pandering toady's come up with real news. Go ahead and light up Barry. Want a light? Who cares if this cretin smokes, dyes his hair, eats fatty foods or chases women? I DON'T. I want to know why his Egyptian policy is so screwed up. His own people and the boy wonder aren't even on the same page. Damn fools

Posted by: nomobarry | February 9, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Good job Mr President! Now maybe you can teach the Republicans to stop blowing so much hatred!

Posted by: darkhuntress01 | February 9, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Good job Mr President! Now maybe you can teach the Republicans to stop blowing so much hatred!

Posted by: darkhuntress01 | February 9, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Good job Mr President! Now maybe you can teach the Republicans to stop blowing so much hatred!

Posted by: darkhuntress01 | February 9, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

God Bless our President Obama for quiting smoking! A very positive message to our Youth. Thank you! Sincerely, rgc364

Posted by: rgc364 | February 9, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

God Bless our President Obama for quiting smoking! A very positive message to our Youth. Thank you! Sincerely, rgc364

Posted by: rgc364 | February 9, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

God Bless our President Obama for quiting smoking! A very positive message to our Youth. Thank you! Sincerely, rgc364

Posted by: rgc364 | February 9, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

you negative people have horrible attitudes against the President of the United States and his wife. Whether you voted for him or not...what happened to respect for a human being?

Posted by: debbydd | February 9, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Now if he could just QUIT spending money!

Posted by: priveye | February 9, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

It's painfully obvious to see from some of the comments here that this country is riled and filled with hate based ignorance. It clearly illustrates that, as a nation, our educational goals are failing, and the us -v- them mentality is rampant (Read that White -v- every "other" race, nationality, ethnic group)

Posted by: tw328 | February 9, 2011 7:24 AM | Report abuse

like we believe anything she or her husband says. sure

Posted by: MKB1 | February 9, 2011 7:14 AM | Report abuse

And to puck-101, fury60, "wantingbalance" (your name should be "balancewanting"), TexRancher, flinston, dottydo, Charly_XF, Richie5, ridge_road_reject, victoriav, the rest of the willfully ignorant mob that have expressed their bigotry, lack of intelligence, and utter disregard for decency and fairness:

What make you think you look good. You are an embarrassment to our country.

Here's something you obviously failed to acknowledge (gee what a surprise, that):

During federal elections, everyone who is registered to vote comes out to vote. In less than two years, you ugly bigots will are going to witness the removal of the people you were encouraged to go out and vote for.

They will lose their seats, and then you will be back to your petulant, peurile whining like two year olds because here's another thing that will probably happen. There will still be a black man presiding over our country as Commander in Chief.

So next time you are advised by that sc&mbag politics station you sit in front of your idiot-box watching while you dribble tobacco juice down the fronts of your shirts, that you should go out and shout down town hall meetings while waving your disgusting signs - remember this: no one cares about you. Not the majority of Americans, not the people you voted for, and we are all tired of you.

So next time you want to act like a two-year old and stomp your feet and shout and push people and demand birth certificates that have already been shown and tell people what faith they should practice and refer to yourselves as having stake-claimed exclusive rights to being Americans - at the exclusion of most Americans, and you bring out those disgusting signs and insist that our country should resemble some trash 1950s re-run of "Leave It to Beaver" and you start throwing your corpulant obese weight around, don't. Because we're tired of you and you'll be ignored in every paper except the National Enquirer where you'll be referred to as a separate species.

So, if you don't get your way in 2012, why don't you at that point just make good on your numerous earlier threats to secede and leave.

You would be doing our country a favor if you finally just would get lost.

Posted by: jakrdy | February 9, 2011 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations to the President.

And to the herd of cattle brought to us by Roger Ailes and his employees - you just voted in a majority leader who not only smokes, but lobbies for the tobacco industry. May you all get lung lcancer and experience what that's like without health insurance.

Posted by: jakrdy | February 9, 2011 6:50 AM | Report abuse

" He Quit," so says the First Moose. Like you can take anything she says , to the bank. She's almost , well maybe even more sickening with her lies . And she has a staff ? Isn't it bad enough she's got a battalion of Cosmetic and Hair Dressers that follow her around day and night. Don't we have enough failed bills put forth by her Jug-eared live in ? Do we need to pay for a project that is sure to fail before it starts ? Trying to make her look presentable ? Remember, " You can't make a Silk Purse, from a Sow's ear ." Or from the ear of a big ugly Moose either.

Posted by: puck-101 | February 9, 2011 5:25 AM | Report abuse

He Quit ? Damn it . I was hoping he'd keep on smoking . I was going to send him a gross of cartons for, well not Christmas , but for whatever Feast the Muslims celebrate instead.

Posted by: puck-101 | February 9, 2011 5:17 AM | Report abuse

Beginning his campaign Obama promised his wife and KIDS that he would quit. He broke that promise. After just 9 months in office, Gibbs and Obama both claimed he had quit. Either that was a lie or he fell off the wagon.

This president lies so much and so often that I find it hard to believe that he quit.

Posted by: fury60 | February 9, 2011 4:40 AM | Report abuse

He may have stopped smoking; but, he is still blowing smoke!

Posted by: ridge_road_marco | February 8, 2011 11:21 PM | Report abuse

He may have stopped smoking; but, he is still blowing smoke!

Posted by: ridge_road_marco | February 8, 2011 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Here's the conversation: "Hey, Michelle," the President asked, "where are my smokes." "Right next to your birth certificate," she replied. And Obama hasn't found them yet.

Posted by: wantingbalance | February 8, 2011 9:51 PM | Report abuse

glad President obama finally beat smoking. it's hard to give up.
For most smokers, the problem is that you actually enjoy it and that is what makes quitting hard.
i quit two years ago. Luckily, it was not as hard as many said. Did the patch and never looked back.
But, the pressure cooker of being president makes quitting a monumental task.
I just wish these people with such a heavy case of obama derangement syndrome would just get off the fox bandwagon for once and try to think like an adult and show a little respect for both obamas.
I don't recall Laura Bush ever being treated with such astounding nastiness as the right does this first lady.
But,then the Bushes were white, weren't they? and for the right they just cannot deal with a black family in the white house unless they are servants.

Posted by: vwcat | February 8, 2011 9:31 PM | Report abuse

montywedell: I agree. There are many stories out there that are important and this is the stuff WAPO and other media outlets concentrate on. I couldn't care less what Obama and his wife do. She wastes too much time nagging Americans about eating right. Seems like her free time (which she has waaay too much of) could be put to better use.

Posted by: georgana | February 8, 2011 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey, that's great! When is Michelle going to stop eating Happy Meals and drop fifty pounds of fat?

Posted by: WildBill1 | February 8, 2011 8:19 PM | Report abuse

I do not believe anything this couple say. Who can believe a word? Obama smoked for years and years and Michelle has a beam double mine and they want to lecture us on how much to eat, where to eat and what to eat when they could use a little advice themselves. No one believes in good health more than I but I am sick of the lectures from people who are poor examples of what they preach. It is one thing to recommend. It is quite enough to have government's rosy nose in my business.

Posted by: greatgran1 | February 8, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

It's so hard to find anything that Obama has done right. I guess quitting smoking is the only thing that can be bragged about. That is, if it is actually true.

Posted by: mlbduffy | February 8, 2011 7:31 PM | Report abuse

My wife is a Hospice nurse. She has assisted hundreds of patients facing end-of-life much too young because of tobacco-related illness. My best friend, a renowned classical musician and teacher, died in his fifties from smoking-related cancers. God bless you, President Obama, for quitting. Here's a song to help you celebrate:
"EVERYBODY LOVES A QUITTER!":
http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=5215841

Posted by: mainesongwriter1 | February 8, 2011 7:26 PM | Report abuse

My wife is a Hospice nurse. She has assisted hundreds of patients facing end-of-life much too young because of tobacco-related illness. My best friend, a renowned classical musician and teacher, died in his fifties from smoking-related cancers. God bless you, President Obama, for quitting. Here's a song to help you celebrate:
"EVERYBODY LOVES A QUITTER!":
http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=5215841

Posted by: mainesongwriter1 | February 8, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad he quit. He's got enough problems to worry about.

Posted by: Plum_Genius | February 8, 2011 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Just Thanks.Mr.President I am under going treatment for Lung Cancer and the good news has insired me once again to do something i thought i could not do. I'm going to stop smoking 2/9/11.(voting was the other thing I thought i would never do but i'm glad I did.)

Posted by: edb571 | February 8, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

This is news? Who cares? Just another smokescreen to divert our attention from other sneaky things he's doing!

Posted by: TexRancher | February 8, 2011 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I quit cold turkey after 42 years of a 2 pack a day habit. I hope the Prez has quit but he has shown none of the withdrawal symptons (weight gain, irritability).I almost lost it.

Posted by: nanonano1 | February 8, 2011 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Always good to hear someone has kicked the tobacco habit, Nasty habit!!

Now he should work on his spending problem!

Posted by: 15of18 | February 8, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

So she never asks him about it, and didn't know when he stopped, so what is she basing this on? Everyone is saying it but Obama, LOL.

Posted by: Beckola | February 8, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Ya gotta give credit when it's earned. Congratulations, Mr. President! Applying the discipline to get off tobacco is more than many Americans are willing to do. It stands with staying in shape, keeping marriage together and manning up to fatherhood responsibilities.

This conservative is glad to join Mrs. Obama in saying I am proud of you too!

Posted by: 2012frank | February 8, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

WHO CARES, he can smoke a tow-line.

Posted by: alfonsorfarina | February 8, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

It's like everything else. They lie. He still smokes, just simply sneaks around about it.

Posted by: gone2dabeachgmailcom | February 8, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines...

Posted by: malcolmyoung1 | February 8, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to you, Mr. President! Your quitting is not an easy task -- take it from one who smoked for over 20 years and has now been tobacco free for more than 20.

For those who have not been through the end of the addiction traumas (yet), don't think about "withdrawal pangs". Think about "healing crises". How long does that healing crisis last? 30 seconds? A minute? How long does that crisis last after you've had a few puffs from your cigarette? 30 seconds? A minute? Aren't you strong enough to get through two minutes of your day without a cigarette?

Keep up the good work, Mr. President!

Posted by: luv2bikva | February 8, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

@TeaPartyNation:

Why are you so intensely focused upon the mote in the President's eye, when you have that beam to remove from your own?

Posted by: lonquest | February 8, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Obama confirmed Tuesday that her husband has kicked his decades-long smoking habit.
Obama said that she didn't know exactly when the president stopped because "he never smoked a lot."
At a reporter's luncheon in the Old Family dining room, Michelle Obama said that it has been "almost a year," since her husband has picked up a cigarette.
- - - - - - - - - - -
So, michele "confirmed" barry quit but she doesn't know "exactly' when he quit!! :-)
You can't trust anything they say!!!
My guess, since he hasn't "picked up a cigarette" in "almost a year" that in obamaspeak that means he has a new person on his staff with an ID card that says "Cigarette Picker Upper".

Posted by: thornegp2626 | February 8, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Stopped smoking – well that’s a start on correcting his MASSIVE CHARACTER FLAWS.

Now “You Lie!” should focus on correcting his other flaws: shallow, profane, arrogant, platitude-spouting, pompous, inexperienced, smug, Marxist, drug-addicted, elitist, narcissistic, racist, anti-Semitic, flip-flopping, gas-bag, to name just a few.

Posted by: TeaPartyNation | February 8, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I was really hoping that the readers of this article were more intelligent than many in this country. I am disappointed that there are so many that are still brainwashed by the the republican wing and the hate gang at on the radio.

After 8 years of complete ineptitude prior to Obama, how can you possibly judge this president this way.

Want to have a laugh, google bushisms. The press covered for W for years.

Posted by: Niner1 | February 8, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

it is so hard to imagine so much negativity about someone doing something to improve his health and those around him.who will these bigots go after and for what, next.These folks continue to give this country a bad name,too bad there's not one place where these idiots/bigots can go and never be heard from again.if this president was bush or another dumba** that was white,i wonder what they would say then.

Posted by: rwhampt | February 8, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Took me fifteen years to quit a bad habit I picked up in 1970. Haven't smoked in over 4 years. Lost my dad to lung cancer. I'll always be one cigarette away from buying a pack. Stopping the smoking habit is one of the hardest things in the world to do - nicotine is that addictive.

On a human level - way to go Mr. President!

Posted by: palmtree2001 | February 8, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Please, please re-hire some of your copy editors!!!!! President Obama has a golfing "buddy", not a golfing "budding!"

Posted by: FairfaxImmigrant | February 8, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

As the spouse of an ex-smoker, I would caution anyone announcing that their mate has quit. We thought my husband had quit after suffering a heart attack in November 1995, He survived with literally only 10 minutes to spare in getting to the hospital. In spring 1996 the kids found a huge pile of cigarette butts outside our bedroom window. He had become the master of deception, his breath, hair and clothes never gave him away. It took emergency open heart surgery in 1998 to shock him into quitting for good.

It's such a nasty habit to kick, I hope for the President's sake that the First Lady is right.

Posted by: AverageJane | February 8, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

@Richie5 and Charley_XF: The American public has not regretted Obama’s presidency, nor is it a “failed“ presidency, according to recent polls. I guess you both only watch Faux News. You do know they lie - right? …and Charley: Posting the same thing over and over doesn’t make it true, it only makes you appear a fool.

@burn999: No matter when Michelle would have announced this, you an other haters would have had something snarky to say about it.

@12tgenamerican: Unless the GOP can come up with someone other than Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann, or any of the rest of the GOP clowns who want to run in 2012, don’t hold your breath.

Posted by: vduhr | February 8, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I could care less. Thanks to Mrs. Obama a 4.5 billion dollar "healthy eating" bill was passed recently. This from a Whitehouse that had a feast on Superbowl Sunday for their hundreds of guests (or 100+) that would send anyone's colesteral sky high. This from a Whitehouse that is trying to control the ingredients in brownies served/sold at a school bake sale. Such hypocrisy!!

Posted by: ReneesOpinion | February 8, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Really? Last time I looked, smoking was still legal. So is drinking booze, pornography, and Adultery.

Posted by: TrenchMouth | February 8, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if this is the first time in her lifetime that she is proud of her husband?

Posted by: JamesMeager1 | February 8, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Well that answers it for me. After all, Michelle, (better known as James brown in drag) is now proud for the first time in her life of America.

Actually I don't care if he smokes or not. The fact that he does or did smoke tells me he is an absolute moron.

From the 1960's forward, if you had at least two brain cells rolling around in your head, you have been exposed to thousands upon thousands of sources making a very clear point that smoking will kill you. As such, you should have had enough sense and foresight to know that smoking would kill you; not today, not tomorrow, but eventually.

To start and continue to smoke in light of decades of clear evidence that smoking was the leading cause of death in the country tells me he lacks both common sense and true intellect.

This is merely another example of Obozzo thinking he knows more than the experts when in fact he has no idea of what he is doing. His actions and inactions as well as his policies have proven that point to all of America and the world numerous times.

Posted by: Bcamp55 | February 8, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Come on you guys!!! Get up off of your computer seats and start doing some real reporting. The entire middle east is up in flames - Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Afg., Iraq, Pakistan, Jordon, Syria, and others are in revolt! There are tens of thousands of people dying in Africa, and the world economy has placed many countries and some US states on the brink of bankruptcy. You just want to report headline news on "quit smoking"? Is this some stupid liberal misdirection to keep people ignorant, or from properly informing then about real news and to focus on real issues, or is this just free publicity for Obama to help in his reelection. Get with it ! Start earning your pay! Monty Weddell Dallas, TX

Posted by: moweddell | February 8, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Come on. Can we show just a little respect. Were talking about the leader of our country. It matters not your opinion. Anyone who has ever quit (me for 7 years after smoking for 33 years) knows its a challenge. More importantly, if we can't show some respect about this kind of topic where exactly do you think were headed?

Posted by: faithinamerica | February 8, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations Mr. President. I quit more than ten years ago and feel better for it. For those that cannot understand, too bad. Anyone that quits smoking should be congratulated, no matte rtheir political persuasion, unless you are biased from the start to finish.

Posted by: patmatthews | February 8, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Obama quitting yeah right. He hasn't told the truth since he has been in office. The only thing he has told the truth on is that he has left CHANGE in our pockets about 2 cents worth.

Posted by: victoriavl1 | February 8, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations Mr President. You are also fortunate to have a spouse who did not nag you.

I too am trying to quit and it is a tough thing to do. You have earned my respect but then you always had that.

Posted by: darkhuntress01 | February 8, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Obama quitting yeah right. He hasn't told the truth since he has been in office

Posted by: victoriavl1 | February 8, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm pulling for the president and applaud him for putting down the cigs. But almost a year of not smoking hardly qualifies as kicking the habit," as the reporter states.

Addiction simply doesn't work like that. I've had friends who quit for much longer who started smoking again.

The battle will continue for a very long time. As skinfreak said in his comment above, it's one day at a time.

It bodes well that he can stop smoking during a time of high stress, however. I'm sure that's when the temptation must be greatest.

Posted by: mypitts2 | February 8, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

So What!!! Michelle and Barack must know the American public regrets them coming to power. Their rise was inpart due to a sick lies that Barack was a U.S. citizen, then Barack thumbed his nose at the public when they demanded evidence of his birth. Sadly we are saddled with these two until he is impeached.

Posted by: Richie5 | February 8, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Good for him but wasn't he supposedly sneaking smokes awhile back? Oh well it's a tough habit to quit.

Posted by: FLvet | February 8, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I smoked cigarettes for more than thirty years and quit cold turkey over eight years ago. It's not easy. I don't know how long our president had that nasty habit but if Michelle says he quit a year ago, I believe her. Just like any addition, it should be taken one day at a time. I really don't know how long it's been since I stopped smoking...what's important is that I don't.

Posted by: skinfreak | February 8, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I read "0bama quit" and thought that meant his failed presidency.

Too bad.

Posted by: Charley_XF | February 8, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Hatred is such aobvious thing when conveyed by the ignorant and jealous. this means u dottydo. Barack and Michelle Obama have more credibility In their pinkly finger than the past three republican Presidents or any of those morons in the current GOp Congessional leadership. The First lady is a powerful woman. Not only because of her position, but her beauty, intellect and heart. u idiot haters cannot stand it!! its so sad!!

Posted by: njournalg | February 8, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Darn, I read "0bama quit" and I thought it meant his failed presidency. Too bad.

Posted by: Charley_XF | February 8, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Vipers? How about a wife that has so much confidence in her husband she waits a year before saying anything about him quitting in case he fell off the wagon. If she doesn't trust him at his word from day 1, why would I?

Posted by: burn999 | February 8, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Darn, I read "0bama quit" and I thought it meant his failed presidency. Too bad.

Posted by: Charley_XF | February 8, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Nice people.

For what it's worth:

Congratulations, Mr. President. You have begun to achieve a very difficult objective. I trust the people close to you provide you more support than the vipers who post words about you in public.

Posted by: lonquest | February 8, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Stopped smoking what? Cigarettes? Who cares? He's still smoking crack if he thinks anybody believes he has now become the "pro-business President."

Posted by: flintston | February 8, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I know that when I quit wouldn't have been a good time for me to have my finger on the nuclear button.......That said I really wonder how the world has tolerated tobacco companies peddling poison, loaded with 100s of addictive chemicals.

Posted by: fishinfool | February 8, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Quick, someone send Boehner a carton of Lucky Strikes....non-filtered.

Posted by: CHICO13 | February 8, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

who cares. by the time this country votes obama out the rest of us will be smoking,to calm ourselves.

Posted by: 12thgenamerican | February 8, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Michelle or Obama with any credibility?

HA HA
HA HA HA HA
HA HA AHAHAHAHAHAHa
Too funny.

Posted by: dottydo | February 8, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

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