President Clinton is considering dropping efforts to regulate nicotine as a drug if tobacco companies agree to fund a massive national campaign against teenage smoking, two congressmen said Tuesday.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the White House are discussing ways to curb teen smoking, including banning cigarette vending machines.
The plan given to Clinton on Monday by Reps. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Charlie Rose, D-N.C., would go much further. Under the proposal, Clinton would negotiate a “memorandum of understanding” with every U.S. tobacco company in which the industry would provide funding for states to stop tobacco sales to minors.
The actual figure has not been determined but probably would be at least $100 million, officials said.
The proposal also would forbid advertising targeted to teens, as well as cigarette vending machines, free samples and mail sales that give teens access to tobacco.
“If the companies will agree, … then the president will not move forward the rule-making process at the FDA,” Rose said.