I was appalled by the cigarette ad you ran on pages 88-89 of the December 11–17 issue ("If you’re wearing one of these, you better be swimming for a medal"). My husband, who just quit smoking after 50 years (he started when he was 12), has been off cigarettes for 100 days, and he still craves them. Since he quit, he has gained about 12 pounds. He has been very angry about the weight gain, and when I saw this ad, I realized who are being targeted: people who are thinking of quitting and are afraid of gaining weight, or those who have quit and are gaining weight. The ad suggests that smoking is healthy, or at least that it will keep you fit and attractive. This is false and misleading, and a case should be brought against the cigarette company for misrepresenting its product. I hope that there are others who share my opinion and that, given enough pressure, the Weekly will never run this ad again. You should be ashamed.
Your special issue "Portraits of L.A." [Januray 1–7] shows the positive spirit of our community and the positive force the L.A. Weekly should and can be. Kathleen Clark, Dave Shulman and Marty Luko ought to be proud. Even the advertising department goes positive, with the California Department of Health Sciences ad noting the risk of impotence from smoking.
I guess something has to offset the cigarette ads you continue to publish.