Volunteer Vice Squad

The outcry over tobacco and alcohol marketing reaches a fever pitch

The executives in the television commercial are grim. "We need more smokers!" growls the tough-talking boss of a tobacco firm. "Every day 2,000 Americans stop smoking. And another 1,100 also quit. Actually, technically, they die. That means that this business needs 3,000 fresh new volunteers every day. So forget about all of that cancer, heart disease, emphysema, stroke stuff! Gentlemen, we're not in this business for our health!" And with that, the businessmen erupt in gales of sinister laughter.

Shown on TV stations throughout California starting last week, the devastatingly direct commercial was the opening salvo in the state's new $28.6...

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