THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
This is a historic and landmark day for the nation's health and children. With this ruling, we can regulate tobacco products and protect our children from a lifetime of addiction and the prospect of having their lives cut short by the diseases that come with that addiction. This is a monumental first step in what we always knew would be a long, tough road, and we are ready to keep pushing on.
This is a fight for the health and lives of our children. Each day, 3,000 children and young people become regular smokers, and 1,000 of them will have their lives cut short as a result of smoking. This is a fight we cannot afford to lose. It is a fight we cannot afford to stop waging. The Vice President and I are committed to protecting our children.
Our common sense approach is aimed at limiting the appeal of these products and making it harder for children to buy them. Retailers have the responsibility to make certain that they are not selling tobacco products to anyone under 18. Asking them for a photo ID is just plain common sense. Keeping tobacco billboards away from schools and playground is just plain common sense.
Senior attorneys from the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration have carefully reviewed the District Court's opinion. On the basis of that review, the Solicitor General has informed me that an appeal would be appropriate for that part of the rule not upheld and I have directed that an appeal be filed.
We will continue to work to protect our children and our children's children. We will not stop until we succeed. Where our children's health and safety are concerned we cannot, and we will not, rest.