Can't ban freebies.
A federal judge recently struck down Washington's ban on
cigarette giveaways. In effect since June, the state law stopped tobacco
companies from giving out free samples to adults. "We know these
samples are getting into the hands of young people and leading many to a
lifetime of addiction," says Senator Bob Oke, sponsor of the law.
But U.S. District Judge Franklin Burgess said that the law is overruled
by a 1969 federal law dealing with cigarette promotions. R.J. Reynolds
spokesman David Howard said the ruling affirmed the company's right
to market its products. However, in California, the company recently
agreed to pay $5 million to settle a lawsuit accusing it of violating
that state's law forbidding cigarette giveaways.