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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Vice President


For Immediate Release April 14, 1999
                 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.

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