Smoking is already banned at most dance parties, but now it might stop happening in magazine pages, too: Last week, Congress sent a letter to women's glossies, urging them to reject advertisements from tobacco companies. The letter came with a firm suggestion to get rid of those ads, and also a deadline: Reply to Congresswoman Lois Caps by this Wednesday. But it seems her letter wasn't too popular, since Caps' official response was that "magazines seem to care more about their bottom-line profits than the health of their readers, young and old." Well, we could have told you that - Craving the body of Gemma Ward, the hair of Raquel Zimmerman, and the clothing allowance of a hedge fund salary is hardly considered healthy (but that doesn't mean we don't love it, and find a greater purpose in it, somewhere). As for the smoking issue, it's worth noting that tobacco ads take up a tiny fraction of magazines, so if Conde Nast and Hearst were to ban them, their profits wouldn't really suffer. What seems to be the real issue is, in the words of Vogue publisher Tom Florio, "...The goal of Congress should be to create legal guidelines for the marketing, distribution and sale of tobacco products, rather than to bring pressure on a magazine to forgo its legal right to conduct business as approved by the lawmakers of the United States." And if Congress tries to ban smoking ads in fashion magazines, what else could they ban - birth control ads? Ads with nudity? And what about editorials with smoking? You get the idea - it's a hard slope to walk, even if Congress isn't wearing the Fendi bubble heels approved by Vogue. We don't smoke. We don't love it when our friends smoke. We think tobacco ads are lame. But we're not sure it's okay to ban Camel and Marlboro from buying space in magazines? One more thing: We can't help but wonder why this initiative is only aimed at women's magazines. Apparently when GQ and Details run their tobacco ads, men aren't as influenced by their seductive powers? Really?
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