Lorillard's Unreal "Youth Smoking Prevention" Campaign

Real parents adFamily Circle and Parents magazines regularly run youth smoking prevention (YSP) ads called "Real Parents, Real Answers" that are paid for by the Lorillard Tobacco Company. The ads drive readers to a website operated by Lorillard that contains no information about the health hazards of cigarette smoking, the addictive nature of nicotine or cigarette companies' role in promoting youth smoking through advertising and  marketing techniques. Instead, the site blames kids' smoking on parents, citing kids' rebelliousness and self-esteem as being at the core of the youth smoking problem. Research shows that tobacco company-run YSP campaigns are ineffective, and in 2006 a federal judge ruled that such campaigns are merely public relations stunts by tobacco companies to improve their image. Tobacco industry documents show that cigarette makers design YSP campaigns to impress political leaders and give the appearance that the industry is being "responsible," not to reduce youth smoking rates. The web site Change.org and a new group called the Start Noticing Coalition are working to pressure the Meredith Corporation, publisher of Parents and Family Circle, to acknowledge these facts and stop running the ads, but Meredith refused, saying the ads are "appropriate" for its magazines, so Change.org started an online petition to increase pressure on the publisher to stop accepting the ads.