FDA explains cigarette ad rules

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The Food & Drug Administration is holding its ground on its proposed tobacco advertising restrictions for magazines and outdoor, but is reopening comment on some other key advertising provisions as it tries to further explain some of the rules. In a notice Monday that will be published in the Federal Register, FDA said there had been a number of questions on how it arrived at rules that would ban tobacco signs within 1,000 feet of a school or playground and limit magazine ads to so-called tombstone ads--black and white with text only--in publications with more than 15% readership by those under 18 as well as in some others.

In a "memorandum" Monday the FDA said a study by the Tobacco Institute confirmed the wisdom of a 15% standard, showing that the only sports and racing magazines affected would be Sports Illustrated (18%), Car and Driver (18.3%), Motor Trend (22.1%) and Road & Track (20.6%) and the only general interest magazines affected would be Rolling Stone (18.5%), Vogue (18%), Mademoiselle (19.7%) and Glamour (17%). In addition, People, which has only 7.8% readership by minors but has 3 million readers under 18, would be affectbuilt a SuperBowl site in conjunctionby a related rule that limits ads in titles with more than 2 million circulation.

As to the outdoor board restrictions, FDA said 1,000 feet is about a block and its choice came because "based largely on the experience of its employees ...the longer distance will protect" children as they travel to or from the playground or school.

The FDA also released a statement from a former Philip Morris scientist that the agency said supported its view that nicotine is an addictive substance and that cigarettes are a nicotine delivery system and therefore subject to FDA regulation.

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