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February 27, 1998

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With this new campaign, and our call for bipartisan, comprehensive anti-tobacco legislation, we can give our young people a healthier, smoke-free tomorrow --and it can't come a day too soon.

Vice President Gore
February 27, 1998

Today, Vice President Gore announces a new national campaign to educate consumers and help retailers prevent illegal sales of tobacco products to children. In launching the new campaign, the Vice President also underscores the need for comprehensive national tobacco legislation to finish the job and dramatically reduce youth tobacco use.

The Vice President's announcement marks the first anniversary of the implementation of the landmark Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tobacco rule designed to reduce the incidence of youth smoking. The FDA rule made it a federal violation to sell cigarettes or spit tobacco to anyone younger than age 18, and required retailers to ask for photo identification from anyone younger than 27 who attempts to purchase these tobacco products.

A New Campaign To Prevent Youth Tobacco Use. The FDA's new national education campaign uses creative point-of-sale, radio, print, and billboard advertisements to make clear to consumers and retailers that tobacco sales to minors are against the law. The FDA plans to run its campaign in all 50 states by the end of 1998.

Building On State Efforts. The FDA's campaign will compliment the progress being made at the state level under the Synar Amendment -- a law requiring states to assess retailer compliance with state youth tobacco access laws. Already, four states -- Florida, Maine, New Hampshire and Washington -- have met the retailer compliance requirements set by the law. Three more states -- Delaware, Rhode Island and Vermont -- are scheduled to meet the goal in 1999. The remaining states are expected to achieve these results between 2000 and 2003.

An Historic Strategy For Reducing Youth Tobacco Use. Earlier this month the President announced a balanced budget plan that includes historic measures to reduce youth tobacco use and to prevent kids from starting use in the first place. This plan is expected to keep 2.8 million teens from smoking by the year 2003 and will save nearly one million lives. To ensure that these important efforts are successful, President Clinton is calling for tobacco legislation that includes:

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