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Obama: No smoke without wife's fire

US president Barack Obama says he has not had a ciggie in years - thanks in no small part to wife Michelle.

In an exchange caught on camera and shown on CNN, Mr Obama was captured chatting privately to a United Nations official, saying he hoped the official had given up smoking.

After the official appeared to ask Mr Obama about his own cigarette use, the President said he had not had a cigarette in probably six years, adding, with a broad grin: "That's because I'm scared of my wife."

Mr Obama has acknowledged struggling with tobacco use over the years and first lady Mrs Obama said in 2011 that her husband had finally kicked the habit.

The exchange came on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

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