THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Dover, Delaware) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release May 8, 1998
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
Every day, 3,000 young people start a habit that will kill 1,000 of them before their time. Three years ago, appalled by these trends, I committed this Administration to stopping the sale and marketing of cigarettes to children. Now, thanks to our efforts and the persistence of state attorneys general, we have the best opportunity ever to pass comprehensive tobacco legislation that will save millions of our children from premature death.
Today, we have learned that Minnesota has won important new concessions from the tobacco industry. The Minnesota settlement, like those reached earlier in Mississippi, Florida, and Texas, will help us combat tobacco industry marketing to kids. This action provides still further momentum to our effort to pass bipartisan, comprehensive tobacco legislation this year. All our nation's children are at risk from tobacco, and we must have comprehensive national legislation to stop young Americans from smoking before they start, by raising the price of cigarettes, putting into place tough restrictions on advertising and access, imposing penalties on the industry if it continues to sell cigarettes to children, ensuring that the FDA has authority to regulate tobacco products, and protecting farmers and farming communities.