Congressional tobacco foes accused Bob Dole of siding with the cigarette industry Friday by denying that smoking is necessarily addictive.
"The last thing our kids need to hear is a statement from a man who would be president that smoking is not addictive," said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif. "Senator Dole, side with our kids, not with the tobacco industry."Dole, the presumed Republican presidential nominee, said Friday while campaigning in Birmingham, Ala., "We know it's not good for kids, but a lot of other things aren't good. Drinking's not good; some would say milk's not good."
Dole said he doesn't want young people to smoke but added, "Let's let the states do this. Let the states crack down on it in Kentucky or wherever it is."
He said Waxman "believes in big government," and later added, "Waxman's overblown. He has been for years."
On Thursday, Dole said in Kentucky he supported efforts to keep children from smoking and to ban cigarette vending machines. But he said the Food and Drug Administration should otherwise stay out of the tobacco issue.