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April 2, 1998: National Kick Butts Day

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National Kick Butts Day:
Saying "No" to Tobacco and "Yes" to Longer, Healthier Lives

Arming our children with the tools they need to say no to tobacco products is the most effective way I know to prevent them from picking up this deadly habit. As we work to pass comprehensive legislation to reduce youth smoking, President Clinton and I are committed to finding news ways to teach children that saying "no" to tobacco means saying "yes" to a longer, healthier life.

- Vice President Gore
April 1, 1998

Today, Vice President Gore attends a National Kick Butts Day, joining more than 700 students in celebration of kids fighting back against the marketing and advertising of tobacco products to young people. Kick Butts Day events are taking place today in more than 300 locations in all 50 states. The Vice President leads the Administration's Kick Butts Day effort which includes appearances by Cabinet Secretaries and other Administration representatives at events all over the country.

President Clinton and Vice President Gore are committed to passing comprehensive legislation to stop young Americans from smoking before they start, in an effort that can save one million lives over the next five years.

A Strong Foundation For Future Tobacco Reform. The President and Vice President believe that Senator McCain and Senator Hollings' bill that was voted on in the Commerce Committee yesterday represents a good start on the road to passing comprehensive tobacco legislation this year. We must continue to work with Senator McCain and others to strengthen this bill by imposing stronger penalties to make reducing teen smoking the tobacco industries bottom line and ensure that tobacco revenues are used to promote public health and assist children.

New Steps To Reduce Youth Tobacco Use. The Vice President announces several new efforts aimed at reducing youth tobacco use, including:

  • the National Education Association's "Kids Act to Control Tobacco" program that motivates and mobilizes teachers, students (grades 6-8) and parents to become tobacco control advocates at the grassroots level;
  • the Girl Scouts project to make resources available to kids and adults to show why smoking is so dangerous and wrong;
  • Girls Incorporated's "teach-in" effort coordinated as part of their Stamp Out Smoking campaign;
  • New Ads to Deter Teen Smoking. Channel One News, which reaches 1 million school aged children, will produce and broadcast a series of informational updates about teen smoking and health.
A Strategic Plan For Reducing Youth Tobacco Use. The Clinton-Gore plan for comprehensive tobacco legislation includes five key principles:
  • A comprehensive plan to reduce youth smoking by raising the price of packs of cigarettes by up to $1.50 over ten years through a combination of annual payments and tough penalties on the tobacco industry;
  • Full authority for the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products;
  • Changes in the way the tobacco industry does business, including ending marketing and promotion to kids;
  • Progress toward other public health goals, including biomedical and cancer research, a reduction of second hand smoke, promotion of smoking cessation programs, and other urgent priorities; and
  • Protection for tobacco farmers and their communities.

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