Statement by the President: Tobacco (10/5/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

________________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                                            October 5,
2000


                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     Today, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Cancer
Society, the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association
issued a report showing that while some states have devoted a substantial
portion of their tobacco settlement to reduce youth smoking, most have
committed only modest or minimal funds.  Tobacco companies are spending 10
times more to market their product than all 50 states combined are spending
on tobacco prevention and cessation.  I encourage all states to commit a
significant part of their settlement to address the harm that tobacco
companies have caused through decades of deceptive marketing, especially to
youth.

     With a clear ruling last week by a U.S. District Court allowing the
case to proceed to trial, the Attorney General today reaffirmed her
intention to hold tobacco companies accountable for their actions.  Tobacco
companies have saddled generations of Americans with unnecessary health
costs and premature death by fraudulently marketing their products to youth
and deceiving the American public about the dangers of tobacco use. More
than 400,000 Americans die each year from smoking-related diseases, and 80
percent of them started smoking as children.  Today, I renew my call to
Congress to reject special protections for Big Tobacco and provide the
funds necessary to allow this case to be decided in the courtroom, not the
back room.  Together with our partners in the states, we can and must make
the health of our children a priority.  The American people deserve their
day in court.

                                 30-30-30


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