Obama on Nicorette use: ‘I’m not a purist’

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Former smoker President Barack Obama is still a committed Nicorette chewer.

David Remnick’s in-depth look at Obama’s second term, released Sunday in The New Yorker, sheds additional light on numerous aspects of Obama’s presidency, including his continued Nicorette habit.

“Obama chewed furtively on a piece of Nicorette,” Remnick writes. “His carriage and the cadence of his conversation are usually so measured that I was thrown by the lingering habit, the trace of indiscipline.”

“I’m not a purist,” Obama told Remnick.

The profile “Going The Distance: On and off the road with Barack Obama,” further reveals that Marvin Nicolson, Obama’s trip director, carries the president’s Nicorette, ensuring that the president’s chewy nicotine fix is always at the ready.

“Nicholson is the guy who is always around, who carries the bag and the jacket, who squeezes Purell onto the Presidential palms after a rope line or a clutch; he is the one who has the pens, the briefing books, the Nicorette, the Sharpies, the Advil, the throat lozenges, the iPad, the iPod, the protein bars, the bottle of Black Forest Berry Honest Tea,” Remnick writes. “He and the President toss a football around, they shoot baskets, they shoot the shit.”

Since he quit smoking, Obama’s Nicorette habit has been a matter of curiosity.

Last year, “60 Minutes” correspondent Steve Kroft told an audience of reporters that he and the president have a “running joke” where they exchange Nicorette when they see one another.

“We have this thing where, we’re both, uh, former smokers trying very hard. Um, every I see him now he gives me a couple of pieces of Nicorette gum, which is fine. If he’s out, then I will give some to him,” Kroft said.

When asked if he believes Obama still sneaks a few cigarettes, Kroft recalled an interaction he had with Obama’s former body man Reggie Love.

“We were down there once for an interview and he said, ‘Boy, you should have been around here yesterday. It was awfully smokey,’” Kroft said.

During the 2012 inauguration, there was rampant speculation the Obama popped a piece during the parade while on live television. And in July, during a White House ceremony, Obama again was spotted popping what appeared to be Nicorette. (RELATED: Obama casually pops Nicorette during White House ceremony [VIDEO])

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