Obama has stuck to his promise about cigarettes

President Barack Obama swore he wouldn’t smoke after the Affordable Care Act passed.

It’s been almost six years, and in an interview with GQ, he told Bill Simmons that he’s stayed true to his word. 

Number of cigarettes you’ve smoked in the White House since you got here?

Zero in the last five years. I made a promise that once health care passed, I would never have a cigarette again. And I have not.

Obama had struggled with the habit in the past, and The Hill reported that one of the reasons he said he finally quit was because he was scared of his wife. 

“Have I fallen off the wagon sometimes? Yes. Am I a daily smoker, a constant smoker? No,” Obama said at a press conference in 2009, according to The Hill.

Obama’s desire to quit follows the national trend. More American adults today are former smokers than current ones, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. And 69% of current smokers say they want to quit. 

The number of adults in the US who smoke has fallen since the health care bill passed, too — from around 20% in 2010 to about 17% today:

And that drop is part of a larger trend over time. More than 42% of adults smoked in 1965. 

There have been rumours that Obama has fallen off the wagon, even recently. When this picture surfaced on Instagram in June, people speculated that it looked like the President was holding a pack of cigarettes in his hand: 

But the White House denied that’s what he was holding. 

Obama’s commitment to smoking cessation is good news for him, and the country. We all know the many health dangers of smoking: Just one cigarette can take 11 minutes off your life.

 

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