3:14 PM 28 Apr 1999
|from:||Bruce N. Reed|
|to:||Cynthia A. Rice, Elena Kagan, J. Eric|
New York Times to refuse tobacco ads April 28, 1999 Web posted at: 12:46 PM EDT (1646 GMT) NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Times plans to ban advertisements for cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products in its pages effective Saturday. The Times decided on the ban, the first by a national newspaper, because of concerns about the harmful effects of smoking, New York Times Co. spokeswoman Nancy Nielsen said. "We don't want to expose our readers to advertising that may be dangerous to their health," Ms. Nielsen said. Tobacco advertising accounted for less than 1 percent of the newspaper's $1 billion in ad revenues last year. More than a dozen other u.S. newspapers refuse to publish tobacco ads. The Seattle Times refuses ads for tobacco, handguns and pornographic movies, while The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., refuses ads for bingo, fortune tellers and 900 telephone numbers, according to the industry's Editor & Publisher International Yearbook. Mark Smith, a spokesman for the tobacco company Brown & Williamson, called The New York Times' new policy "pathetic. Isn't it ironic that a pUblication that trumpets freedom of the press would " trample on the freedom of commercial expression?" Times publisher Arthur o. Sulzberger Jr. said that the First Amendment "gives the press the right to publish what it chooses to. It doesn't force the press to publish something, whether that's a news story or an advertisement." The Times likely has already run its last cigarette ad. A full-page color ad for Carlton cigarettes ran Monday, and no others were scheduled before the ban takes effect. The Times, which also shuns ads for handguns and tear gas, will continue to accept tobacco company ads that don't promote smoking. Last year, the tobacco industry reached a $206 billion deal with 46 states that had sued to recover health costs associated with smoking. The deal bans outdoor cigarette ads and forbids ads targeting children. Copyright 1999 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. RELATED STORIES: For more US news, Custom News will bring you news from the areas and subjects you select.