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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release November 19, 1998



Also, Calls on Congress to Pass Comprehensive Tobacco Legislation

Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore announced a bold series of steps today to help reduce youth smoking, including $142 million in new federal research funds over five years, and he pressed Congress to pass comprehensive tobacco legislation.

"Today's steps will help us turn the tide on the tobacco epidemic," Vice President Gore said at the American Cancer Society's annual Great American Smokeout. "These targeted advertisements, investments in new research, and proven, effective programs will help us protect our children and enter the 21st Century a stronger and healthier nation."

The Vice President, joined by Washington Mystics star Nikki McCray and Health and Human Service Secretary Donna Shalala, (1) unveiled a major new tobacco research strategy for the 21st Century, (2) announced a national anti-smoking advertising campaign, and (3) called on schools across the country to adopt proven, effective tobacco prevention programs.

Comprehensive Tobacco Research Plan:

The Vice President unveiled the National Cancer Institute's first-ever tobacco research implementation report to guide tobacco-use research strategies into the next century. The report documents the problems of tobacco use and outlines new strategies for research in epidemiology, genetics, and effective tobacco control efforts.

The Vice President announced $142 million in federal funding over five years for two major research initiatives:

(1) creation of Transdisciplinary Tobacco Research Centers to bring researchers from a range of scientific disciplines together to develop innovative research approaches to help reduce youth smoking, and

(2) new funding to help develop effective state and community tobacco control interventions, including media campaigns, advertising restrictions, and other interventions.

National Anti-Smoking Advertising Campaign

The Vice President announced that the first-ever nation-wide underage smoking television advertisements will air through the Office of National Drug Control Policy's (ONDCP) advertising campaign. While states can use their funds to air any of these effective ads, ONDCP has just approved nine ads on their list of pro bono ads as part of ONDCP's National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign launched by ONDCP Director Barry McCaffrey. This nearly $200 million annual campaign requires a 100 percent public service "match" of free advertising by the networks and local stations.

School Implementation of Tobacco Prevention Programs

The Centers for Disease Control has identified two school-based curricula that have proven effective at preventing and stopping youth smoking. The Vice President called on schools across the nation to implement these effective school-based tobacco prevention programs. He also announced that a 1-800 number is now available for parents, educators, and community leaders to learn about these programs (1-800-CDC-1311).

The Vice President renewed his call for Congress to pass comprehensive tobacco legislation to reduce youth smoking. Each day, he said, 3,000 young people start smoking, 1,000 of whom will die prematurely from a tobacco-related disease. In addition, over three million teenagers -- over 22 percent of high school students -- smoke cigarettes on a daily basis.