We should remember the stakes. Each day that Congress fails to act, more than 3,000 children start smoking, and more than 1,000 of them will die early as a result. Each day that Congress fails to act, our children continue to be bombarded by massive a marketing campaign aimed at recruiting what tobacco industry documents call 'replacement smokers.' With strong legislation, we can save one million lives in the first five years. Our duty is clear: to protect our children, to wrap a loving arm around them, and to give them the future they deserve.
Today, President Clinton will declare that the proposed state tobacco settlement, which holds the tobacco industry accountable for targeting children, is a step in the right direction and will call on Congress to finish the job and pass comprehensive tobacco legislation that will help reduce teen smoking. The President will also underscore the Administration's strong commitment to the FDA tobacco rule, which confirms the FDA's authority over tobacco, by noting that the Solicitor General has decided to seek the Supreme Court's review of a recent decision by the Fourth Circuit denying a rehearing in the FDA case.
The Proposed State Settlement Is A Step In The Right Direction. President Clinton has worked very hard over the last three years to reduce the number of teen smokers and hold tobacco companies accountable for their marketing of cigarettes to children. Today, state Attorneys General will unveil a proposed settlement with major tobacco companies. The President sees this proposed settlement as a real step in the right direction, but will make clear that there is still a great deal left for Congress to do to ensure a substantial reduction in youth smoking.
Anti-Teen Smoking Legislation Will Be One Of The President's Top Priorities For The Next Congress. The President will call on the next Congress to finish the job and enact national tobacco legislation. Passage of this legislation will be one of the President's top priorities for the next Congress. The American people want progress not partisanship. They want Congress to protect children, not special interests. The new Congress has the chance to put politics aside and do what the last Congress failed to do -- act now to prevent three million children from starting smoking and save one million lives over the next five years.
The Clinton Administration Will Seek Supreme Court Review Of The Fourth Circuit FDA Decision. The President will reiterate his support for the FDA tobacco rule, which confirms FDA authority over tobacco products. Since this rule was announced in 1995 the tobacco industry has challenged it in court. Last week, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Administration's request for a rehearing in the FDA case. Today, the President will make clear that the Solicitor General has authorized the filing of a petition in the Supreme Court seeking review of the Fourth Circuit's decision in this matter. This decision is crucial, confirming the FDA's authority over tobacco products is necessary to help stop young people from smoking before they start by stopping advertising targeted at children and curbing minors' access to tobacco products. If the leadership in Congress would act in a bipartisan manner and pass comprehensive tobacco legislation to confirm the FDA's authority, this matter could be taken out of the courtroom.
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