Washington, Jun 13: Even as US President Barack Obama congratulated Congress for passing tough new tobacco regulations, the White House admitted on Friday, Jun 12 that the commander-in-chief himself was still struggling to do away with his smoking 'addiction'.
When White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was asked if the president still smoked, he replied that Obama has "a struggle with nicotine addiction" every day.
Obama has a long history of smoking, which goes back to his college days, evident from a photo of his that emerged during his campaign trail, but during the presidential campaign he is said to have chewed nicorette chewing gum in an effort to kick the habit.
Though the president dodged questions about his smoking at the start of his administration, Gibbs said he "assumed" the president still chewed the nicorette.
A substantial number of Americans too believe that Obama has still not kicked the habit, with 37 pc saying in a recent poll that they feel he still sneaks cigarettes into the White House.
With millions of Americans looking on, it would be huge struggle for Obama to quit the habit, though he has supported Congress' effort to curb the urge of new smokers, and to lower the number of deaths each year.
"I'm proud the House and the Senate have acted swiftly and in overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion that will protect our kids and improve our public health," Fox News quoted the president, a reformed smoker, as saying from the Rose Garden.