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For Immediate Release
June 6, 2000
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

PHILIP MORRIS TO PULL MAGAZINE ADS WITH SIGNIFICANT YOUTH READERSHIP

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., said today Philip Morris has volunteered to comply with proposed FDA rules regarding advertising in magazines with significant youth readership. As a result of the decision, the tobacco company will pull advertising from 42 publications with a large youth readership, including Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated. Curran said Philip Morris also has agreed to stop advertising on highly-visible back covers of publications.

The decision by Philip Morris comes after months of discussions between the tobacco company and Attorneys General. Curran said the decision by Philip Morris is a significant step in stopping marketing practices which reach youth by the tobacco industry. A settlement agreement reached between tobacco companies and 46 states in 1998 prohibits the industry from marketing to children.

"One of the reasons we sued tobacco companies was to stop them from targeting kids to make them the next generation of smokers," Curran said. "We are concerned about readers, not necessarily subscribers, and this is a major step toward reducing the exposure of our kids to the hard sell of tobacco."

About 3,000 kids a day become addicted to tobacco and public health experts contend most people can avoid becoming smokers if they can be kept tobacco-free through the age of eighteen.

In a letter to the President of the National Association of Attorneys General, Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire, Philip Morris President Michael Szymanczyk said his company will suspend advertising in any publication whose readers younger than 18 years of age constitute 15 percent or more of the total readership or is read by more than two million persons younger than eighteen. Those numbers are the standards set for defining adult publications by FDA's proposed tobacco rules.

Curran said discussions will continue with Philip Morris about how youth readership is measured and the reliability of those measurements. While praising Philip Morris, Curran said other tobacco companies have not pledged to suspend advertising and that the Tobacco Committee of Attorneys General will continue an investigation into advertising practices by those companies.

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