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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release February 27, 1998
                          VICE PRESIDENT GORE 
                         LAUNCHES NEW CAMPAIGN 

     Gore Educational Radio Ad To Run In All 50 States By End Of 1998

Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore and Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala announced the Administration's new multi-media education and advertising campaign to help reduce the illegal sale of tobacco products to children.

The campaign kick-off coincides with the one year anniversary of the FDA rule which makes it a federal violation to sell cigarettes or spit tobacco to anyone younger than age 18, and requires retailers to ask for photo identification from anyone younger than 27 who attempts to purchase these tobacco products.

"The President and I are absolutely committed to reducing tobacco use among children," said Vice President Gore. "This aggressive, unprecedented education and advertising campaign is designed to stop the sale of tobacco products to children. As an example of our strong commitment to keeping tobacco products out of the hands of our teens, I have recorded a radio ad encouraging retailers to comply with the FDA rule."

The radio advertisement and multi-media campaign will begin running in Arkansas on Sunday, March 1st. Later this spring, the 10 other states joining the campaign will include California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. The FDA also plans to expand the campaign to all 50 states by the end of 1998.

"This campaign is a great step but it's not enough," said the Vice President. "To put an end to selling tobacco to teens once and for all, Congress must enact comprehensive legislation that will prohibit the sale of tobacco to children."

Vice President Gore also emphasized that the new campaign is an effort to encourage Congress to enact comprehensive national legislation based on five key principles articulated by President Clinton:

(1) a comprehensive plan to reduce youth smoking by raising the

      price of a pack of cigarettes by up to $1.50 over ten years 
      through a combination of annual payments and tough penalties 
      on the tobacco industry;

(2) full authority for the Food and Drug Administration to regulate

tobacco products;

(3) changes in the way the tobacco industry does business, including

an end to marketing and promotion to children;

(4) progress toward other public health goals, including biomedical

      and cancer research, a reduction of second hand smoke, promotion 
      of smoking cessation programs, and other urgent priorities; and 

(5) protection for tobacco farmers and their communities.

The Vice President's radio spot will can be heard on the White House Press Office's radio actuality line by calling 202/456-5671.