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Magazines to cut tobacco ads from school versions

Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. – Tobacco ads in school library editions of Time, Newsweek, People and Sports Illustrated magazines will be eliminated under a nationwide agreement announced Monday.

The deal between publishers, tobacco companies and states attorneys general follows a 2003 agreement by publishers and tobacco companies in which tobacco ads were banned from classroom editions of the magazines.

Monday’s agreement – necessary according to officials since school libraries often don’t subscribe to the classroom editions – provides for “selective binding” of those editions beginning this summer. Tobacco companies have agreed to a publishing method that will keep their ads from school library subscriptions.

A survey by the New York State Department of Health Tobacco Prevention Program found 70 percent of libraries in 223 middle schools and high schools had copies of Time, Newsweek, People and Sports Illustrated with tobacco ads. School libraries said the magazines are among the most popular with students.

“Just as we did in 2003, we continue to make our best efforts to address the important issue of not exposing children to tobacco advertising,” said Newsweek spokesman Ken Weine.

“Beginning in mid-July, Time, Sports Illustrated and People magazines will offer tobacco companies the opportunity to remove or edit their advertisements in magazines that go to public elementary, junior high and high school libraries throughout the United States,” said Time spokeswoman Diana Pearson. The action will be at no cost to the advertisers, she said.

“This is a major success in our continuing efforts to reduce the marketing of tobacco products to children,” said New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, the lead state official in the agreement between the publishers and the National Association of Attorneys General.

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