THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
VICE PRESIDENT GORE UNVEILS NEW STUDY SHOWING THAT THREE CIGARETTE BRANDS DOMINATE YOUTH SMOKING
Akron, OH -- Vice President Gore unveiled today a new study showing that some of the most heavily advertised cigarette brands -- Marlboro, Newport, and Camel -- are also the most popular among current teen smokers.
"Our children are targets of a massive media campaign to hook them on cigarettes," Vice President Gore said today at a Kick Butts Day issues forum. "This study shows why Congress should stand with our kids and stand up to the tobacco companies -- let's act now to make sure tobacco settlement funds are used to reduce youth smoking."
The study, commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services, examined overall brand use and preference among teens. It found that approximately 88 percent of 12th graders, 86 percent of 10th graders, and 82 percent of 8th graders who currently smoke cigarettes use these three brands, among the most heavily advertised.
In addition, the study found that:
The Vice President also highlighted new study released today by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids that shows the children are still being targeted by cigarette ads. Highlights from this study include that:
The Vice President also highlighted other steps that the Administration is taking to reduce teen smoking and urged the Congress to take action to pass critical measures to protect our children. Taken together, these efforts will help cut youth smoking in half within five years. These include:
Requiring that money from the state tobacco settlement be spent on keeping kids from smoking. The Administration believes that any legislation that waives the federal government's claim to tobacco settlement funds must make a commitment from the states to fund such efforts. Without such a commitment, states won't have to spend a single penny of the $246 billion settlement to reduce youth smoking. Raising the price of cigarettes so fewer young people start to smoke. Public health experts agree that the single most effective way to cut youth smoking is to raise the price of cigarettes. The Administration is asking Congress to pass a $0.55 cigarette tax to build on increases already agreed to between the tobacco companies and the States and those passed by the Congress. Reaffirming the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) full authority to keep cigarettes out of the hands of children. The Vice President also reiterated the call on Congress to pass legislation to reaffirm the FDA's authority to regulate tobacco products in order to halt advertising targeted at children, and to curb minors' access to tobacco products. Only by affirming FDA's authority can Congress ensure that America's children are protected from the next generation of tobacco industry marketing. Supporting critical public health efforts to prevent youth smoking. The Vice President also urged the Congress to help support tobacco prevention programs in States and local communities by passing the Administration's proposal to double the funding for FDA's tobacco budget to $68 million and increase funding for the Centers for Disease Control's tobacco control efforts by one-third, from $74 to $101 million. Protecting farmers and farming communities. The Administration remains committed to protecting farmers and their communities, and we are encouraged that the states and industry were able to agree recently upon a $5 billion package to compensate farmers. The Administration will work with all parties, as needed, to ensure the financial well-being of tobacco farmers, their families, and communities. Kick Butts Day is a nationwide initiative designed to curb tobacco
use among children and adolescents. Organized annually by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, it involves young people nationwide staging a variety of anti-tobacco activities, such as testifying before State legislatures, exposing tobacco sales to minors, and dumping merchandise containing tobacco brand-name logos into garbage dumpsters. This year, for the fourth annual Kick Butts day, there are more than 1,200 events being held around the country.