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Statement of the President: 2000 Monitoring the Future Survey (12/14/00)

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                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                            (Coventry, England)

For Immediate Release                                            December
14, 2000

                        STATEMENT OF THE PRESIDENT

     Today?s 2000 Monitoring the Future Survey confirms that we are making
real progress in our fight against youth drug and tobacco use. The
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) study released by Secretary
Donna Shalala and Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Barry
McCaffrey shows teen cigarette use falling sharply across all grades
surveyed.  The percentage of teenagers reporting cigarette use in the past
month dropped by nearly 10 percent among high school seniors, and over 15
percent among 8th-graders. The study also shows that efforts to change
student attitudes on tobacco are having a positive impact: more teens now
believe that smoking carries risks, while fewer report that cigarettes are
readily available. This year also marks the fourth in a row that overall
teenage use of illicit drugs has remained stable or declined.  In
particular, the data shows a significant drop in cocaine use among high
school seniors and heroin use among 8th graders in 2000.  In combination
with the National Household and PRIDE surveys this year, these results
demonstrate a continuing downward trend in overall youth drug use.

     Today?s research shows that the efforts of the Clinton-Gore
Administration have put us on the right track to give our children safer,
healthier futures. Vice President Gore and I have fought hard to reverse
the dangerous youth smoking trends we saw throughout the earlier part of
the 1990s.  We worked to raise the price of tobacco to keep it out of the
hands of children, and urged states to do their part by implementing
effective, comprehensive tobacco control and prevention approaches.  My
Administration also developed the first nationwide plan to protect children
from the dangers of tobacco, and I have continued to call on Congress to
take further steps, including passing legislation to approve FDA?s
authority to implement this plan.  Meanwhile, our National Youth Anti-Drug
Media Campaign and other initiatives have helped to change attitudes and
steer children away from illegal drugs.

     These efforts have made a difference, but we cannot afford to let up
in this fight.  Today?s results also show emerging threats, such as
increased ecstasy use, while also reminding us that the overall levels of
youth drug, tobacco, and alcohol use remain unacceptably high. I urge the
next Congress to support these proven efforts to give our children the safe
and healthy futures that they deserve.


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