Statement by the President: Executive Order Establishing a New Commission for Tobacco Farmers and Their Communities (9/22/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                     September 22,

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     Today, I am pleased to sign an Executive Order establishing a new
Commission to improve opportunities for tobacco farmers and their
communities while continuing to protect public health.  This action builds
on the longstanding commitment Vice President Gore and I share to protect
our children from the dangers of tobacco use and protect individual tobacco
farmers.  Tobacco growers, like many other farmers, have confronted
difficult economic circumstances these last few years as tobacco companies
increasingly turn to foreign tobacco. We have supported several efforts
over the years to protect tobacco farmers and to develop new opportunities
for these growers and their communities. The Commission, which will make
recommendations on ways to continue this work while protecting public
health, is an important next step.

     This new panel, the President?s Commission on Improving Economic
Opportunity in Communities Dependent on Tobacco Production While Protecting
Public Health, will be co-chaired by William Martin ?Rod? Kuegel, Jr., the
President of the Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association, and
Matthew Myers, the President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.  Both
are leaders in their communities, with proven records on bringing grower
and health groups together on issues important to both. In 1998, they
worked with a coalition of grower, public health, and religious groups to
issue a statement of principles outlining their shared commitment to
reducing disease caused by tobacco products and ensuring the future
prosperity and stability of American tobacco farmers and farming
communities. The work of this important new Commission will serve to
further demonstrate that the goals of reducing youth smoking and protecting
American farmers can be pursued together.


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