Washington: A ‘stubborn’ Barack Obama has made progress in his bid to quit smoking but continues to ‘wrestle’ with the habit, the White House said today, amid a warning by the US Surgeon General that even a puff is harmful.
Obama`s spokesman Robert Gibbs said he had not seen or witnessed any evidence of his boss smoking in probably nine months.
"I`ve not seen or witnessed evidence of any smoking in probably nine months," Gibbs said at his daily news briefing.
"This is not something that he`s proud of. He knows that it`s not good for him. He knows that he doesn`t like it. He doesn`t like children to know about it, obviously, including his," Gibbs said in response to a question.
"I think he has worked extremely hard, and I think he would tell you even when in the midst of a tax agreement and a START deal and all the other things that accumulate, that even where he might have once found some comfort in that, he`s pushed it away," Gibbs said.
His statement came as the US Surgeon General released a new report detailing how tobacco causes cancer, heart attacks and many other ailments and why it is so addictive.
He goes on to warn that even a whiff of tobacco smoke can adversely affect the body.
Gibbs said Obama, 49, was working hard and wrestling with the habit so that he could quit smoking.
"So he understands its dangers and I think has done a lot of extraordinary work to wrestle with that habit, as millions of Americans have," he said when asked about a statement from the Surgeon General that Obama has been working very hard to stop smoking.
When specifically asked if Obama has stopped smoking, Gibbs said it is correct for the last nine months. "For that nine months, yes. I think the President would be the first one to tell you that it`s a struggle," he said.
When asked how he has managed it, Gibbs said: "He`s stubborn .... this is something that he`s thought about for a while. I think this is something that he`s aware is doing is in his best interest or his health. I think he`s thought about that for quite some time."