Noting that the White House was a no-smoking zone, Tom Brokaw asked the president-elect during a televised interview on Sunday, "Have you stopped smoking?"
"I have," Obama replied, smiling broadly. "What I said was that there are times where I have fallen off the wagon."
"Wait a minute," Brokaw interjected, "that means you haven't stopped."
"I've done a terrific job, under the circumstances, of making myself much healthier and I think that you will not see any violations of these rules in the White House," he replied on Sunday's "Meet the Press" on NBC.
Obama told the magazine Men's Health in an interview for its November issue that he wished he had more time for staying fit and that he still occasionally smoked a cigarette.
Obama said in that interview that he had bummed a cigarette a couple of times during the campaign. "But I figure, seeing as I'm running for president, I need to cut myself a little slack," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.