Rob Ford
Toronto mayor Rob Ford Reuters

Toronto's troubled Mayor Rob Ford has decided to take a leave of absence from his re-election campaign to seek help for alcohol abuse.

His decision came after the local Globe and Mail newspaper published a second drug video that allegedly shows the mayor smoking crack cocaine.

Ford's lawyer, Dennis Morris, said his client realised he had an abuse problem and wanted to solve it.

The 44-year-old mayor was quoted as saying he is "ready to take a break" from the re-election campaign, to "go get help".

"It's not easy to be vulnerable and this is one of the most difficult times in my life," Ford said in a statement Wednesday. "I have a problem with alcohol, and the choices I have made while under the influence. I have struggled with this for some time."

Last year, the conservative politician admitted that he had smoked crack cocaine during one of his "drunken stupors" following reports that Canadian police retrieved a video allegedly showing him smoking crack. The video was uncovered during an investigation that led to the arrest of Alessandro Lisi, a friend and occasional driver for the mayor.

The scandal erupted when US website Gawker and newspaper Toronto Star reported they had been separately offered a video by a Somali drug gang for a six-figure sum.

Gawker editor John Cook and Toronto Star reporters Robyn Doolittle and Kevin Donovan claimed they were shown the recording on a mobile phone and were left in little doubt that it showed Ford inhaling from what looked like a glass pipe and making erratic comments.

Ford, who was elected mayor in 2010, at first denied the allegations.

A second video, allegedly filmed last Saturday, is believed to show Ford smoking what a drug dealer described as crack cocaine from a copper-coloured pipe

Reporters from the Globe and Mail viewed the video, which was allegedly shot in Ford's sister's basement.

The video is part "of a package of three videos the dealer said was surreptitiously filmed around 1:15 a.m., and which he says he is now selling for 'at least six figures,'" the paper reported.

Ford had repeatedly ignored calls to enter rehab or resign, pledging instead to wage "outright war" on the city council.

"If you think American-style politics is nasty, you guys have just attacked Kuwait," he said in the city council chambers.