President Obama on Kids Tobacco Legislation
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President Obama on Kids Tobacco Legislation

The President:
I just wanted to give a quick statement about the kids tobacco legislation that passed
the Senate yesterday. This bill has obviously
been a long time coming. We’ve known for years, even
decades, about the harmful, addictive, and often deadly
effects of tobacco products. Each year Americans pay nearly
$100 billion in added health care costs due to smoking. Each day about a thousand young
people under the age of 18 become regular smokers. For over a decade, leaders of
both parties have fought to prevent tobacco companies from
marketing their products to children, and provide the public
with the information they need to understand what a
dangerous habit this is. And after a decade
of opposition, all of us are finally about to
achieve the victory with this bill, a bill that truly
defines change in Washington. I’m proud that the House and the
Senate have acted swiftly and in an overwhelmingly bipartisan
fashion to pass this legislation that will protect our kids and
improve our public health. Along with legislation to
protect credit card owners from unfair rate hikes, homeowners
from mortgage fraud and abuse, and taxpayers from
wasteful defense spending, this kids tobacco bill would be
the fourth piece of bipartisan legislation that I’ve signed
into law over the last month that protects the
American consumer, and changes the way Washington
works and who Washington works for. So I look forward to signing it. I want to thank all the people
in the House and the Senate for working so hard to pass this
bill in a bipartisan way. And I want to give a special
shout-out to my legislative director, Phil Schiliro. He and his team have just
done an outstanding job. They’ve been working on
this for a long time, even before they joined
the administration. I’m really proud of them. All right. Thanks, guys. Have a great weekend. The Press:
Mr. President, how closely
are you watching the Iranian elections? How critical is it to change? The President:
We are excited to see what appears to be a robust debate taking place in Iran. And obviously, after the
speech that I made in Cairo, we tried to send a clear message
that we think there is the possibility of change. And ultimately, the election
is for the Iranians to decide, but just as has been
true in Lebanon, what can be true in Iran as well
is that you’re seeing people looking at new possibilities. And whoever ends up winning
the election in Iran, the fact that there’s been a
robust debate hopefully will help advance our ability to
engage them in new ways. All right? Thank you, guys.

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