Barack Obama has quit his 30-year cigarette habit after numerous failed attempts because he wants to be able to tell daughters he does not smoke, according to his wife Michelle. The First Lady announced that the US president had not touched cigarettes for almost a year and could now be counted among the ranks of the 1.3 million of his compatriots who are estimated to kick the habit annually.
His final motivation – which followed years of pressure from his wife – was wanting to be able to look his daughters Malia, 12, and Sasha, nine, in the eye and say he did not smoke.
Mrs Obama revealed her husband’s achievement as she marked the second year of her campaign against childhood obesity, which she now wants to take around the world.
“He’s always wanted to stop,” said Mrs Obama, adding that once she knew last year that he was serious about quitting she had left him alone. “When somebody’s doing the right thing you don’t mess with them,” she said.
Mr. Obama, 49, has confessed to picking up the nicotine addiction in his late teens, though his usage had dwindled to a few cigarettes a day by the time he launched his campaign for president in 2007.