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SEATTLE TIMES TO REJECT TOBACCO ADVERTISING

 SEATTLE, June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The Seattle Times, the Pacific Northwest's largest newspaper, has announced it will no longer accept tobacco advertising.
 "The evidence that smoking is the nation's number one health problem is overwhelming. In good conscience, we can no longer provide a forum for promoting sales of these products," said Times Publisher Frank Blethen.
 "As the leading information provider in this region, The Times is extremely reluctant to deny access to legal commercial information. However, as a thoughtful newspaper, we must make ethical decisions about our content," said Blethen. "Just as we refuse advertising for legal products such as handguns, escort services and X-rated movies, we have concluded that tobacco advertising has almost no redeeming value."
 The Times has long been in the forefront of the effort to stop attempts by federal and state regulators to ban advertising. "Government regulation of advertising about legal products runs squarely into the First Amendment and its underlying philosophy of protecting the flow of commercial information so that the public can make up its own mind," said Blethen. "In our decision today, we are exercising the independent judgment that is our responsibility as a newspaper. We continue to believe strongly that government should not be involved in these kinds of editorial decisions."
 The Times will honor its existing contractual arrangements to run tobacco advertising, after which the new policy will be fully in place.
 The Seattle Times is an independent, privately and locally owned newspaper.
 -0- 6/14/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Questions concerning this policy should be addressed to Frank A. Blethen, publisher, 206-464-8502; John A. Williams, executive vice president, 206-464-8210; or H. Mason Sizemore, president, 206-464-2329./
 /CONTACT: Jack A. Williams, executive vice president, of The Seattle Times, 206-464-8210/


CO: The Seattle Times ST: Washington IN: TOB ADV SU:

SW-AL -- SE004 -- 1589 06/14/93 11:10 EST
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Date:Jun 14, 1993
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