Smoking and the 2008 Presidential Candidates

ByABC News

Feb. 6, 2007 — -- The race for the White House has fired up.

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., told his hometown newspaper that before he runs he needs to quit -- smoking.

The last president who openly and frequently smoked while occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was Franklin D. Roosevelt, more than 50 years ago.

So, ABC News reached out to the other 2008 candidates and presumptive candidates to see if they are -- or have ever been -- smokers.

A spokesman for Gov. Bill Richardson said the New Mexico governor is "not a smoker but does enjoy the occasional cigar."

Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina is not a smoker, said his campaign spokeswoman, adding that "he runs every day."

Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack's camp also confirmed he doesn't light up.

Andy Juniewicz, spokesman for Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich's campaign, said he has known Kucinich for decades and has never seen him with a cigarette.

The office of Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas confirmed that the two-term senator doesn't smoke and never has.

Kirsten Fedewa, campaign spokeswoman for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, confirmed that Huckabee has never been a smoker.

Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, and former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts fall into the lifelong nonsmoker category as well.

Romney spokeswoman Carolyn Wayforth said Romney's not and has never been, "because of his religious beliefs as well as personal habits."

Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado smokes cigars, according to his spokesman.

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson's spokesman confirmed that Thompson has never been a cigarette smoker and related a story from Thompson's days in President Bush's Cabinet as Health and Human Services secretary: Thompson would take cigarettes out of people's mouths and extinguish them when they took cigarette breaks outside the building.

(Note: The list of 2008 candidates will be updated as ABC News hears from their respective campaigns throughout the day.)

ABC News' Paul Fidalgo and Matthew Zavala contributed to this report.

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