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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 1, 2000


A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Health Services demonstrates that, over the last decade, California's extensive anti-smoking efforts have resulted in dramatic decreases in lung and bronchial cancer rates. These new findings remind us that the lives of Americans are at stake -- not just in California, but nationwide -- and that comprehensive tobacco prevention and education efforts can make a difference.

More than 400,000 Americans die each year from tobacco-related health diseases and more than 80 percent of them started smoking as children. That is why my Administration developed a nationwide plan to protect our children from the dangers of tobacco, and I have continued to call on Congress to affirm the FDA's authority to implement this plan, and take other steps to ensure that our children have healthy, tobacco-free futures.

The tobacco companies spend 10 times more to market their products than all 50 states combined are spending on tobacco prevention and cessation. California's efforts demonstrate the progress that can be made when states use comprehensive tobacco control and prevention approaches, as recommended in the Surgeon General's recent report, Reducing Tobacco Use. Today, I again urge all states to implement these effective approaches because we must all work together to improve our nation's health and save our children's lives.