A "pediatric disease" is how David A. Kessler, M.D., FAAP, characterized the rise in the smoking rate among adolescents in the United States.

"In the war against tobacco, we've been successful in adults, but not children," said Dr. Kessler, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from November 1990 to March 1997. "We don't take seriously the sale of tobacco in this country," he added, explaining how a person's age is scrutinized when buying beer at a ballpark, yet only a small sticker is placed on cigarette vending machines to warn that the purchase of cigarettes by those under age 18 is unlawful.

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