Magazines draw heat over smoking ads, covers

Top magazines are coming under pressure from congressional Democrats to stop accepting advertisements for tobacco products.

A group of eight leading lawmakers wrote to US Weekly, People, Time, Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly, pointing to evidence that their ads increase smoking among teens.

ADVERTISEMENT
"Among magazines with high levels of teen readers, Rolling Stone had some of the highest numbers of advertisements and glamorous images of tobacco and e-cigarettes," the group wrote to editor-in-chief Jann S. Wenner.

The letters arrived with a new report documenting hundreds of tobacco advertisements and pro-smoking images in major magazines.

Democrats took particular issue with cover photos of major celebrities that included cigarettes.

In April and May of last year, Rolling Stone ran cover images of pop star Bruno Mars and Mad Men lead actor Jon Hamm smoking or about to light up.

The pressure campaign follows an outcry from Senate Democrats after the 2014 Golden Globe awards broadcast showed celebrities smoking e-cigarettes.

"We are troubled that these images glamorize smoking and serve as celebrity endorsements that could encourage young fans to begin smoking traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes," the senators wrote to NBC Universal.