To the Editor:
A recent study reports that the ads created by Philip Morris to discourage teenage smoking are not only ineffective, but they may actually encourage the habit. (Marketplace, April 7, 1999). This does not come as a big surprise. A cigarette company is hardly the ideal candidate to convince teenagers not to smoke. The viability of the Industry depends on new, young recruits.
But the failure of the Philip Morris campaign to discourage teenage cigarette use should not deter the development of genuine and effective antismoking commercials. These ads do play an important role in decreasing smoking rates among youth. Florida's ad campaign, which has in one year lowered teen smoking by 10%, provides a good example of such efficacy.
What does come as a big...