President Obama may keep his nicotine gum handy in his fight to quit smoking, but it seems he’s got an even more potent weapon: fear of the first lady.
After his afternoon U.N. roundtable discussion on civil society, Obama was caught by an open mic speaking with an attendee about his progress kicking his addiction to smoking.
“I hope you quit smoking,” Obama is heard telling Maina Kiai, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.
“Sometimes,” Kiai replied with a chuckle.
“I chew Nicorette,” Obama could be overheard telling Kiai, followed by an inaudible exchange.
“No, no. I haven’t had a cigarette in probably six years,” Obama said. “I’m scared of my wife.”
Both men laughed.
Obama admitted as recently as June 2009 — four years ago — that he still smoked cigarettes. At the time, he said he was “95 percent cured.”
After he signed his health care bill into law in March 2010, Obama went cold turkey, his friends told ABC News at the time.
The president has been known to regularly chew nicotine gum and munch on celery sticks to help him overcome the habit.