President Obama Lets Slip: I Quit Smoking Because 'I'm Scared of My Wife'

President Obama Lets Slip: I Quit Smoking Because 'I'm Scared of My Wife'
President Barack Obama
Mark Wilson/Getty

09/24/2013 AT 12:15 PM EDT

He's the leader of the Free World and seemingly fearless in the face of peril. Yet much like millions of other men around the world, there is one thing President Barack Obama admits terrifies him: his wife's wrath.

But fortunately for the Commander-in-Chief, it appears First Lady Michelle Obama uses her power for good.

On Monday, a live microphone caught the President telling an attendee at the UN General Assembly meeting that he quit smoking because "I'm scared of my wife," New York's Daily News reports.

Obama apparently did not realize his microphone was on while chatting with Maina Kiai, the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.



The President also told Kiai that he hasn't "had a cigarette in probably six years," although that comment appears to be at odds with what he and others have told the press in the past.

The First Lady has addressed his addiction multiple times over the years. When PEOPLE asked in 2009 whether he finally kicked cigarettes, she somewhat cryptically replied, "Smoking is a difficult thing. My thumbs are up right now."

Two years later, FLOTUS more definitively told reporters that her husband had kicked the habit a year earlier and "he's always wanted to stop."

Smoking has been a long struggle for the Chief Executive, who spoke candidly about his struggle to quit in 2008 in the midst of running for office – and has been known to chew Nicorette gum.

"There have been a couple of times during the campaign when I fell off the wagon and bummed one, and I had to kick it again," Obama told Men's Health. "But I figure, seeing as I'm running for President, I need to cut myself a little slack."
MORE ON: Michelle Obama

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