Is President Obama smoking again?
A new photo surfacing on Instagram of the president standing outside the balcony of the G-7 summit shows Obama taking something out of a small package as he talks to Italian Prime minister Matteo Renzi.
The photo was taken by the spokesman of the Italian prime minister and quickly drew comments accusing Obama of smoking cigarettes.
It is unclear whether Obama is holding a pack of cigarettes or a pack of Nicorette gum — a nicotine substitute that Obama frequently uses during public events.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Obama officially declared that he quit smoking after he was elected president.
“I haven’t had a cigarette in probably six years,” he said via a hot-mic overseas in 2013. That’s because I’m scared of my wife.”
That didn’t quite fit First Lady Michelle Obama’s understanding of Obama’s habit. In 2011, she told the Washington Post that Obama hadn’t picked up a cigarette in “almost a year.”
“It’s been a while and I’m very proud of him,” she said at the time.
In 2010, then White House press secretary Robert Gibbs insisted that Obama had quit.
“I’ve not seen or witnessed evidence of any smoking in probably nine months,” Gibbs told reporters.