Boehner defends 'bad' smoking habit, says 'maybe' will quit someday

Grilled about his tobacco habit on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said it was the right of Americans to have bad habits -- but, maybe, someday he'll quit.

Boehner was asked by host Bob Schieffer, a former smoker and cancer survivor, if he still smoked. "I do," responded Boehner, well known for his smoking on Capitol Hill.

Schieffer asked how Boehner was able to reconcile taking money from the tobacco industry with cigarette smoke being linked to so many preventable deaths.

"Tobacco is a legal product in America," Boehner said. "The American people have a right to decide for themselves whether they want to partake or not."

"There are lots of things that we deal with and come in contact with every day, from alcohol to food to cigarettes, a lot of the things that aren’t good for our health," he added. "But the American people ought to have the right to make those decisions on their own."

Schieffer, who admitted that he wasn't objective on the matter because of his own medical history, continued to press the minority leader.

"I wish I didn't have this bad habit ... but it's something that I choose to do and maybe at some point I'll say I've had enough of it," Boehner said.

Schieffer suggested that if he becomes Speaker after midterm elections, Boehner and President Obama could get together, quit smoking and provide a good example for the country.

"Bob, I appreciate your suggestion," Boehner replied.

Boehner, who prefers Camel Ultra Lights, told reporters in July that he'd offered to quit smoking if an ailing friend did the same. "I wouldn’t do it for myself, but I’d do it for him,” Boehner said.