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NIELSON AIMS TO CURB TOBACCO ADS

Rep. Howard Nielson, R-Utah, has co-sponsored a bill to severely retrict tobacco advertising targeting youth.

"Use of tobacco is this nation's most preventable cause of premature death and illness," Nielson said. "And yet we have continued to permit the promotion of this serious, destructive force to be flaunted before our young, impressionable and most vulnerable citizens."Provisions of the bill include:

-It would replace the five current cigarette warnings with nine new labels that also warn of the risk of stroke, the dangers of cigarette smoke to non-smokers and warn that "tobacco is an addicting drug."

-Advertising could no longer include pictures of people or scenery. It could include only a picture of the product and written text.

-It would ban the free distribution of products and the sponsorship of athletic events by tobacco companies, such as the Virginia Slims Professional Tennis Tournament.

-It would require the listing of chemical additives to cigarettes on the labels.

-It would require states to more closely license tobacco distributors, restrict the sale of tobacco through vending machines and prohibit sale of tobacco to youths under 19 or else lose federal drug- and alcohol-abuse funding.

-It would prohibit the sale of candy cigarettes or gum designed to resemble cigarettes or other tobacco products.