Obama says he quit smoking because he was 'scared' of his wife

Sept. 24, 2013 at 10:55 AM
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UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Never underestimate the power -- or fear, perhaps -- of a spouse when trying to quit a habit such as smoking; just ask U.S. President Obama.

After a Civil Society Roundtable Monday during the opening day of the U.N. General Assembly, Obama was caught on mic saying he successfully quit smoking "because I'm scared of my wife," NBC News reported.

The comment was caught during an exchange with U.N. Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai when Obama said he hoped Kiai had quit smoking and Kiai asked Obama if he had been able to kick the habit.

"I haven't had a cigarette in 6 years," Obama told Kiai. "[That's] because I'm scared of my wife."

While pushing for healthcare reform in 2009, Obama admitted that he still struggled with cigarettes and had smoked occasionally as president.

"I've said before that as a former smoker I constantly struggle with it. Have I fallen off the wagon sometimes? Yes. Am I a daily smoker, a constant smoker? No," he said at a 2009 news conference. He said he didn't smoke in front of his daughters or family.

In a 2012 interview with iVillage, first lady Michelle Obama said her husband was motivated by their daughters to quit for good.

"I know that his ability to ultimately kick the habit was because of the girls, because they're at the age now where you can't hide," the first lady said. "I think that he didn't want to look his girls in the eye and tell them that they shouldn't do something that he was still doing."

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