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Remarks on Tobacco Marketing to Youth and an Exchange With Reporters

January 15, 1998

The President. Before I leave for New York, I want to say a few words about the disturbing news that a major tobacco company appears to have targeted children to encourage them to begin smoking. For 5 years, we've done everything in our power to protect our children from the dangers of tobacco. I've called for strong bipartisan legislation to reduce smoking, especially by young people. The documents that came to light today show more than ever why it is absolutely imperative that Congress take action now to get tobacco companies out of the business of marketing cigarettes to children. Reducing teen smoking has always been America's bottom line, and that's this administration's bottom line; now, it should become the industry's bottom line.

I'm confident that every Member of Congress, without regard to party, who reviews these documents will resolve to make 1998 the year that we actually pass comprehensive legislation to protect our children and the public health.

Thank you.

Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman

Q. Mr. President, did Alexis Herman take money to peddle influence in your administration?

The President. I don't believe that for a minute.

Situation in Iraq

Q. What are you doing about Iraq to put teeth into the statement?

The President. On Iraq, let me say that Mr. Butler is going back to Iraq with the strong support of the United Nations. I am very encouraged that even those who had been more sympathetic to Iraq saw through this totally unacceptable action. So now we have to see what happens. He ought to be given access. He's going back there; he's got the support of the U.N. We're going to watch this a day at a time and see what happens. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 12:20 p.m. on the South Lawn at the White House prior to his departure for New York City.

William J. Clinton, Remarks on Tobacco Marketing to Youth and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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