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Long IslandPolitics

Obama still struggling to quit smoking

It could go down as the biggest broken campaign promise since "Read my lips": Barack Obama's pledge to his wife that he would quit smoking if she let him run for president.

More than two years later, he's still sneaking cigarettes like a middle-schooler. The model ofself-discipline who can zap a fly with the accuracy of a tree frog can't beat his most public vice. "I constantly struggle with it. Have I fallen off the wagon sometimes? Yes. Am I a daily smoker,a constant smoker? No. I don't do it in front of my kids, I don't do it in front of my family, and Iwould say that I am 95 percent cured, but there are times where ... I mess up," President Obamaconfessed when asked about his habit at a news conference Tuesday.

But his failure to disclose precise details of his habit has only piqued the media's curiosity.

What's his brand? Where does he go to smoke? Out back in the organic garden?

His staff isn't talking.

But what were the odds that Obama could make good on his vow to give up a 30-year habit rightbefore assuming such a demanding job?

"Highly improbable," said Ovide Pomerleau, a professor of psychiatry and nicotine addictionexpert at the University of Michigan. "It doesn't surprise me, given his heroic schedule ofactivities, that he would have some trouble giving up something that has been an easy crutch tocarry him through for so many years."


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