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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                         (Danbury, Connecticut)
For Immediate Release                                 September 11, 2000


Today, researchers are releasing two important studies that remind us why we must act quickly to protect young people from the dangers of tobacco.

According to an NIH-funded study in the September issue of Tobacco Control, children become addicted to nicotine more readily than researchers previously suspected. The study shows that kids do not need to smoke every day before they become dependent on nicotine - even adolescents who smoke as little as once a month experience symptoms of addiction. And because we already know that at least one third of the children who get hooked will have their lives cut short as a result, the national consequences are devastating. Another study released today in the September issue of Preventive Medicine underscores the effectiveness of price increases as part of any comprehensive effort, especially among young people - up to 2.3 million lives could be saved over the next 40 years by a $1.00 per pack inflation-adjusted price increase alone.

These studies today show why Congress must join Vice President Gore and me in making the health of our children a priority. Today I renew my call to Congress to affirm the FDA's authority to limit tobacco marketing and sales to youth and fund the Clinton-Gore Administration's tobacco-related budget proposals. I also urge Congress to reject special interest protections for big tobacco by letting the American taxpayers, who have spent billions in tobacco-related federal health costs, finally have their day in court. By working together, we can improve our nation's health and save children's lives.