Obama says he's '95 percent' over smoking

June 23, 2009 at 4:41 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 23 (UPI) -- The new law that imposes tougher regulations on tobacco products isn't about him, but about future generations, U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday.

Obama, who makes no secret of being a struggling former smoker, said he's "95 percent cured, but there are times where I mess up" during a White House news conference.

Obama Monday signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which grants the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate cigarette ingredients, bans the marketing of "light cigarettes" and requires graphic warning labels, among other things.

"This new law is not about me," Obama said. "It's about the next generation."

"Have I fallen off the wagon sometimes? Yes. Am I a daily smoker, a constant smoker? No," Obama said. "I don't do it in front of my kids. I don't do it in front of my family."

Once someone takes up smoking, "then, you know, it's something you continually struggle with, which is precisely why the legislation we signed was so important," Obama said, "because what we don't want is kids going down that path in the first place."

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