It is a "big disappointment" that R.J. Reynolds has "found an ally" in some women's magazines, which have "sold out the well-being of their readers" by publishing Camel No. 9 cigarette advertisements, Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) writes in a Washington Post opinion piece (Capps, Washington Post, 10/12).

Reynolds in February launched the brand, which several public health organizations and women's groups say are targeted at young women. The company -- in an effort to increase its market share among female smokers, who made up about 30% of Camel buyers -- packaged the cigarettes in a "hot-pink fuchsia" and a "minty-green teal package" and advertised the brand with the slogan, "Light and Luscious." An ad campaign for the brand says the cigarettes are now "available in stiletto," a longer, thinner cigarette.

Reynolds, which is working with the agencies Agent 16 and Gyro Worldwide, has placed ads in magazines -- including Cosmopolitan, Flaunt, Glamour, Vogue and W -- and is distributing coupons and give-away packs at nightclubs (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 8/17). According to Capps, she and 40 other members of Congress wrote letters in June and August expressing their disappointment that 11 women's magazines were running ads for Camel No. 9 cigarettes. Seven of the 11 magazines have responded, but "none has committed to dropping the ads," Capps said.

"No amount of pretty pink packaging can obscure the fact that lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer among American women," Capps writes. She concludes that the magazines need to "drop these ads" because the "health of readers, America's young women and girls, should be more important than the revenue derived from abetting the tobacco industry" (Washington Post, 10/12).

Reprinted with kind permission from kaisernetwork. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork/dailyreports/healthpolicy. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation© 2005 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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