WASHINGTON, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Two wars, an ongoing financial crisis and declining popularity have helped U.S. President Barack Obama stay away from cigarettes, the White House said Friday.
"I've not seen or witnessed evidence of any smoking in probably nine months," said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. "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. 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."
The Washington Post reported Thursday although the president was in "excellent health,' his main weakness was his love of "the pastry chef."
The first lady's penchant for healthy eating and exercise has been evident and she allegedly struck a bargain with her husband in the earlier years that if he ever sought the presidency, he had to stop smoking, the newspaper said.
However, given the president's 80-hour work weeks, and not having an addiction herself, Michelle Obama gave her husband some room, she said.
"I've never been a smoker so I can't relate, but people who've smoked say like anything, you have dips and valleys, and to try to quit smoking in one of the most stressful times of the nation's history is sort of like, you know, okay, he's going to struggle a little bit. This may be the year he'll struggle," she said.