[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[May 8, 1998]
[Page 731]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on the Minnesota Tobacco Settlement and Tobacco Legislation
May 8, 1998

    Every day, 3,000 young people start a habit that will kill 1,000 of 
them before their time. Three years ago, appalled by these trends, I 
committed this administration to stopping the sale and marketing of 
cigarettes to children. Now, thanks to our efforts and the persistence 
of State attorneys general, we have the best opportunity ever to pass 
comprehensive tobacco legislation that will save millions of our 
children from premature death.
    Today we have learned that Minnesota has won important new 
concessions from the tobacco industry. The Minnesota settlement, like 
those reached earlier in Mississippi, Florida, and Texas, will help us 
combat tobacco industry marketing to kids. This action provides still 
further momentum to our effort to pass bipartisan comprehensive tobacco 
legislation this year. All our Nation's children are at risk from 
tobacco, and we must have comprehensive national legislation to stop 
young Americans from smoking before they start, by raising the price of 
cigarettes, putting into place tough restrictions on advertising and 
access, imposing penalties on the industry if it continues to sell 
cigarettes to children, ensuring that the FDA has authority to regulate 
tobacco products, and protecting farmers and farming communities.