BETHESDA, Md--With tobacco legislation stalled on Capitol Hill, Vice President Gore preached the antismoking gospel at a cathedral of the committed--the National Institutes of Health--where he urged Congress to pass a comprehensive tobacco bill and announced that the National Cancer Institute plans to allocate an additional $38 million for research on smoking prevention and cessation programs.
The research funds are part of NCIs fiscal year 1999 budget, which has yet to pass Congress. The institute will spend the money over 2 years.
"These investments in more research can help turn the tide of the tobacco epidemic," Mr. Gore said. "By funding groundbreaking new tobacco research, we will harness the full power of science and technology to protect our children."
The vice president spoke to some 600 attendees at a conference on nicotine(Drug information on nicotine) addiction sponsored by NIH, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
According to the White House, the NCI-funded research efforts will:
Determine if adult cessation programs, including the nicotine patch and nicotine gum, work for children.
Search for other cessation programs suitable for children.
Explore why some youngsters can resist tobacco advertising and marketing schemes that target them.
Seek to discover, in collaboration with NIDA, what genetic factors contribute to tobacco addiction.
Fund epidemiologic research to track childrens smoking patterns for a longer period than ever before.
Pursue better treatments for adults addicted to nicotine.
Extend NCIs highly successful American Stop Smoking Intervention Study (ASSIST)--a joint program with the American Cancer Society and 17 state health departments--to focus the newest tobacco-control research on populations, such as minority groups, that continue to have a disproportionate rate of tobacco use.
"President Clinton and I see tobacco research not just as a policy priority but as a moral obligation," said Mr. Gore, who often serves as the Administrations point man on tobacco issues.