TODAY   |  September 24, 2013

Obama: Michelle scared me into quitting smoking

Caught on an open mic with a fellow world leader, President Obama admitted that he hasn’t “had a cigarette probably in six years. That’s because I’m scared of my wife.” NBC’s Chuck Todd reports.

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>>> an off the cuff comment monday from president obama caught on an open mike has lots of people talking today and chuck todd is here to tell us more. good morning.

>> this has always been fun. they're all like us, right? they're all a little bit human. there's no tougher critic of smoking than a reformed smoker but the president admitted he doesn't smoke anymore out of fear of backlash from the first lady.

>> that's because i'm scared of my wife.

>> the president caught on an open mike bragging to a fellow world leader about finally beating the smoking habit. his battle with smoking has been well chronicled throughout his political career and the person most responsible for his quitting was the first lady.

>> that was one of my prerequisites was entering into this race is he couldn't be a smoking president.

>> and while the president claimed monday to have been smoke free for six years it was four years agatha he admitted he wasn't quite cured.

>> as a former smoker icon constantly struggle with it. have i fallen off the wagon sometimes, yes.

>> finally in 2010 , the president along with his personal aid both tried to quit together and with the help of nicorette pulled it off.

>> well, as you know, we see him chewing gum a lot and it's not because he loved dentyne. always the nicorette. the reason for the golf obsession, that's where he could smoke. she never saw it.

>> shocking.

>> so he exaggerated a little in terms of how long he hasn't had a cigarette.

>> i think it's how long he hasn't had a cigarette in front of the first lady.

>> he also said he scored 54 points on a pick up game at the white house .

>> he does always score 54 points.

>> that's not rigged. chuck, thank