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Dems rake tobacco

Published on .

Senate Democrats, unable to persuade the Republican majority to hold a hearing on tobacco, held their own ad hoc hearing Wednesday with witnesses including a 12-year-old addicted to tobacco and former talk show host Morton Downey Jr. Sen Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and others castigated tobacco marketers for using symbols like Joe Camel and for advertising to kids. Holding up Camel T-shirts and catalogs, Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa charged they were "all designed for one purpose: to hook young people on smoking." He called for eliminating the deductibility of advertising expenses for the tobacco industry. Retiring Sen. Paul Simon of Illinois proposed raising taxes on tobacco to increase anti-smoking advertising.

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