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Only losers smoke in Florida

Mar. 7, 2000

The state of Florida has cut teen smoking by as much as 54 percent, thanks to a series of The-Man-wants-you-to-smoke themed ads. The ads, which portray teen smokers as tobacco industry dupes, apparently did the near-impossible by making smoking less cool among middle and high school students.

Impressed, the deep-pocketed Legacy Foundation, a national anti-smoking group, copied Florida’s strategy with its own don’t-be-a-pawn-of-capitalism spots. The foundation ran into a snafu, though, when tobacco lawyers reminded it of a clause in its charter that bans it from vilifying tobacco companies or executives. One ad the tobacconiks deemed particularly offensive showed a woman with a suitcase labeled “lie detector” being kicked out of an anonymous tobacco company’s offices. The Legacy Foundation decided not to run the ad following tobacco industry objections. Now, anti-smoking activists are stumped — how can they make smoking uncool without a bad guy?

Read the CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR story here.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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