Clearing the air about cigarettes: will advertisers' rights go up in smoke? Richards, Jef I

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Richards, Jef I
Appears In
Pacific Law Journal
Advertising; First Amendment - Media Role; Speeches/Meeting Papers.
Academic; Professional
Because recent restrictive changes in cigarette advertising laws have unknown consequences for advertisers, this report outlines the history of the controversy over whether to allow cigarette advertisements, explores its legal status with respect to First Amendment rights for advertisers, and considers potential solutions to the conflict between Congressional anti smoking factions and the print media. The first section reviews the history of tobacco use and regulatory efforts previously aimed at its advertising, while the second covers the second wave of regulations and private lawsuits stemming from cigarette ads. The third section outlines efforts by the U.S. Congress and the American Medical Association to ban cigarette sales, focusing for comparison on the effects of a Puerto Rican ad ban on casino gambling. The fourth section discusses 1986 Congressional hearings on banning tobacco ads and explains the legal consequences with respect to the loss of advertisers' First Amendment rights, and the fifth provides tests of the proposed ban for legality, substantial interest, advancement of government interest, and overbreadth. The sixth section gives details about why new warnings in cigarette ads probably will not work, and discusses problems of the new approach, such as advertising wearout, personal salience, and persuasion interference. The seventh section enumerates the consequences of a ban: (1) economic disaster would befall the print media; (2) tobacco companies would cease to sponsor socially beneficial events; (3) the regulatory technique would be extended to other products, such as alcohol; and (4) research on making tobacco products safer would cease. The conclusion summarizes the ban's relationship to the First Amendment. (SKC)
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