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White House: Not smoking a struggle for Obama

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June 12, 2009 02:48 PM EST | AP

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WASHINGTON — The White House press secretary says President Barack Obama still struggles with a nicotine addiction, but the spokesman would not say whether the president still smokes cigarettes.

Presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs was asked about the matter Friday, the same day in which Obama talked of tobacco's deadly effects and hailed the passage of bill that boosts regulation of smoking. In the past, Obama has spoken about the difficulty of quitting cigarettes.

Gibbs said that Obama's response about smoking would be that quitting the addiction is a lifelong struggle.

Asked directly if Obama still smokes, Gibbs said: "I would simply tell you I think struggling with a nicotine addiction is something that happens every day."

(This version CORRECTS last quote to 'addiction' not 'addition.')