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                     Office of the Press Secretary
________________________________________________________________________         For
Immediate Release                                        August 14, 1998


The Solicitor General has today authorized the filing of a petition in the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit seeking rehearing en banc of the three-judge panel's decision regarding FDA regulation of tobacco products. I am firmly committed to the FDA's rule and its role in protecting our children from tobacco. Confirming the FDA's authority over tobacco products is necessary to help stop young people from smoking before they start by stopping advertising targeted at children and curbing minors' access to tobacco products. Almost 3,000 young people become regular smokers each day, and 1,000 of them will die prematurely as a result. If the leadership in Congress would act responsibly, it would enact bipartisan comprehensive tobacco legislation to confirm the FDA's authority and take this matter out of the courtroom.