President Obama Kicks The Habit (We Think!)

White House Press Secretary hasn’t seen him with a cigarette since March.

Friday, Dec 10, 2010  |  Updated 9:01 AM EDT
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White House Ready for the Holidays

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President Barack Obama says the political cost of overhauling the health care system turned out to be higher than he had expected. And he admits that he gets discouraged at times when dealing with the economy.

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Quitting smoking is tough, and apparently President Barack Obama is learning that the hard way.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters Thursday that he hasn't seen the president smoke -- and he hasn't seen evidence that the president has smoked -- in about nine months.  Gibbs said the President has been working "extremely hard" to quit for good.

"This is not something that he's proud of," Gibbs said. "He knows that it's not good for him. He doesn't like it, doesn't like children to know about it, including his."

The announcement came just days after the U.S. surgeon general said that tobacco smoke begins poisoning the body immediately.  A new report also estimates that about 46 million adults, or one in five, still smoke.

Gibbs did say he thinks Obama is still chewing nicotine gum.  He also said the president understands smoking's dangers and has done a lot of "extraordinary work to wrestle with that habit," as have millions of Americans.

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