T H E   W H I T E   H O U S E

Proclamation: National Great American Smokeout Day, 2000 (11/17/00)

Help Site Map Text Only

                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                          (Aboard Air Force One)

For Immediate Release                           November 17, 2000


                               - - - - - - -


                              A PROCLAMATION

     In the 24 years since the American Cancer Society organized the first
Great American Smokeout, our country has made encouraging progress in our
battle to reduce the devastating human and economic toll that tobacco
products take on our society.  Today we have a more comprehensive
understanding of the dangers of tobacco use and the sophisticated marketing
tactics used by tobacco companies, and we have devel-oped more effective
methods for helping people break their addiction to tobacco products.

     Despite the progress we have made, tobacco remains the leading cause
of preventable death in our Nation, with more than 400,000 casualties from
tobacco-related illness each year.  Since the first report of the Surgeon
General on smoking and health was issued in 1964, 10 million Americans have
died from causes attrib---uted to smoking.  More than 50 million Americans
are currently addicted to tobacco.  Every day, another 3,000 young
Americans become regular smokers; of these, nearly 1,000 will die

     A recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health has shown
that young people become addicted to nicotine much more quickly than we
previously thought.  Adolescents who smoke as infrequently as once a month
still experience symptoms of addiction.  That is why my Administration has
urged the Congress to raise the tax on cigarettes and grant authority to
the Food and Drug Administration to limit tobacco marketing and sales to
youth.  I have also called on all the States to devote a sub-stantial
portion of their tobacco settle-ment funds to reduce youth smoking.
Currently, tobacco companies are spending nearly
$7 billion a year to market their products, dramatically more than the
Federal Government and all 50 States combined are spending on tobacco
prevention and cessation programs.

     My Administration has also joined with the American Cancer Society and
other public health organizations in calling for public and private health
plans to provide coverage for and access to proven tobacco cessation
methods.  We know that helping people quit smoking produces immediate and
long-term health benefits -- saving money and saving lives.

     National Great American Smokeout Day presents all of us with the
opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to the health and safety of all
Americans.  Smokers who quit smoking for the duration of the day can lead
by example and take the first crucial step toward better health.
Nonsmokers can teach children about the dangers of using tobacco and
strengthen our Nation?s efforts to eliminate young people?s exposure to
secondhand smoke.
Through efforts like the Great American Smokeout and the imple-mentation of
proven tobacco prevention programs, we are moving toward my
Administration?s goal of cutting smoking rates among teens and adults in
half within the decade.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States
of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and
laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 16, 2000, as
national Great American Smokeout Day.  I call upon all Americans to join
together in an effort to educate our children about the dangers of tobacco
use and to take this opportunity to practice a healthy lifestyle that sets
a positive example for young people.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
fifteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand, and of the
Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and

                              WILLIAM J. CLINTON

                                 # # #

President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House
White House for Kids | White House History
White House Tours | Help | Text Only

Privacy Statement