U.S. President Barack Obama has finally quit smoking, first lady Michelle Obama said on Tuesday.

It's been a while and I'm very proud of him, she was quoted as saying by The Washington Post.

Obama kicked the smoking habit almost a year back and has not had a cigarette since then, Michelle told media during the first anniversary of her Let's Move childhood health initiative.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in December that Obama continued smoking cessation efforts by chewing nicotine gum as replacement.

Last year Obama said that he doesn’t smoke in front of his kids and family, and to avoid setting a bad example, he never smokes in public. It seems the president has now set a “good” example for US citizens, of which 26 million men and about 23 million women smoke cigarettes, according to official statistics.

A government data revealed that the United States spends $150 billion a year on medical aids and treatment for smoking-related diseases; over 50,000 people die from passive smoking every year in the US.