- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 23, 2009

President Obama admitted Tuesday he still sometimes smokes cigarettes, acknowledging his difficulties kicking the habit one day after signing a sweeping new law that regulates tobacco companies and their marketing to children.

“Am I a daily smoker, a constant smoker? No,” he said. “There are times when I mess up.”

Mr. Obama, known to chew Nicorette gum, first scolded the McClatchy reporter who asked the question but then said he considers himself “95 percent cured.”

“I don’t do it in front of my kids, I don’t do it in front of my family,” he said during a press conference in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House.

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“I constantly struggle with it,” he said, admitting that, yes, he has fallen off the wagon on occasion.

The president compared himself to “folks who go to [Alcoholics Anonymous]. Once you’ve gone down this path, it’s something you continually struggle with.”

Mr. Obama added that’s “precisely why legislation we signed is so important” and that he does not want children to “go down that road in the first place.”

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