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More Magazine Ads Target Teens

August 29, 2001, 5:00 PM by Jolene Loetscher

More Magazine Ads Target Teens
Parents, you probably think most magazines your kids read include articles about fashion, friendships and fitness. But a new study shows big tobacco keeps using those periodicals to push smoking, despite promises to stop. In KELOLAND, the statistics are staggering. South Dakota teenage girls light up at a record rate -- 46-percent are smokers. A new study shows there's another reason to worry. Thirty-eight magazines targeted at teens, continue to include tobacco advertising. Back to the books, means more magazines for these Garretson High School teens. Lacey Cooper, Garretson H.S. senior, says, "A lot." During down-time, students relax and read in the library. Byron Caauwe, Garretson H.S. sophomore, says, "It could really influence them a lot." With the articles comes tobacco advertising, Caauwe says, "Four, Sports Illustrated." Some mainstream magazines include a half-dozen ads targeting teens and twenty-somethings. Cooper says, "They've already targeted everybody older than us. As those customers die off they need new people." What Garretson H.S. freshman Mandy Ellefson sees in these glamorous pictures, "When they're older they're going to be lying on their deathbed." Cooper says, "How many people do you know that sing and smoke at the same time." Kitty Kinsman, consultant to S.D. Tobacco Free Kids Network, says, "There's no way to offset the $18 million a year being spent in South Dakota on tobacco marketing." These teens take a flip and rip approach to reading. When they find ads for smoking, Cooper says, "We rip all the tobacco ads out of our magazines." These high schoolers are also sticking it to big tobacco by placing bright yellow stickers on the cover of each magazine to tell students it included tobacco ads. The power of pulling ads, Cooper says, "It's worth it, protect the young kids and ourselves." She says, it's their way of protecting a generation under fire. Many students say they don't think schools or libraries shouldn't stop displaying the magazines since many include important information on current events. Some magazines don't allow any ads from tobacco companies. Click here for a list of smoke-free advertising magazines at www.smokefreemd.org/magazines.htm.

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