Back in college, Barack Obama and many of his friends smoked cigarettes, a habit common in the Bohemian world in which they circulated.
Nearly three decades later, Obama is a member of the U.S. Senate, a likely presidential candidate and the father of two young girls, and now the smoking thing is a liability.
So the Illinois Democrat, just days before he is expected to announce his run for the White House, tells the Tribune that he is trying to kick the habit.
"I've never been a heavy smoker," Obama says. "I’ve quit periodically over the last several years. I've got an ironclad demand from my wife that in the stresses of the campaign I don’t succumb. I've been chewing Nicorette strenuously."
His wife was a big influence. So, indirectly, were his two young daughters.
"It's not a habit I want my kids to be exposed to," he said.