View Header


Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release June 5, 1998

           Holds Youth Roundtable with 40 Washington D.C. Kids

Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore today called on Congress to pass comprehensive tobacco legislation next week in order to reduce youth smoking, and help give all of America's kids a brighter, smoke-free future.

"Next week, the Senate will vote on whether to end the debate and begin to decide the fate of our children," the Vice President said. "The time for talk is over and the time for action has come. I applaud the work the Senate has already done, but urge them to act quickly while we have the momentum, and not let this historic opportunity pass us by."

The Vice President hosted a Youth Tobacco Roundtable which included 40 children ages 9-18 mainly from the Washington area. The children are involved in a number of anti-teen smoking programs, including:

     School Without Walls:  Most of the students are from the 
     Washington D.C. School Without Walls in grades 9-12.  These 
     students participated in the George Washington University 
     Coalition for a Smoke-Free Youth as a class project.  
     Throughout this project, they take part in information 
     sessions and workshops on the dangers of smoking and the
     effects of smoking on the body.

     Students Oppose Smoking:  This is a group of 8-12 grade student
     smokers and non-smokers from Montgomery County, MD who are 
     dedicated to curbing the problem of teen tobacco use.  They have 
     made several proposals to reduce teen smoking in the Montgomery 
     County school system, including:  encouraging schools to provide 
     pulmonary function machines in health rooms to show the damage 
     inflicted by smoking and second-hand smoke; calling for more 
     anti-tobacco laws in their community and schools and for the 
     laws and the consequences to be posted in their schools, and; 
     starting tobacco cessation programs during school hours with 
     trained counselors who can work with students.

     Tobacco Free Children's Project:  The students participating in 
     this project have been lobbying the Metro Transit Authority to 
     provide space on all buses for posters, essays and paintings of 
     anti-tobacco messages for youth.  Additionally, they are providing 
     their classmates with information on the consequences of smoking 
     using information from adults who have been smoking.  In the 
     future, they plan to create a website with a focus on anti-tobacco 
     information for youth.