New York, May 1, 1996 - The American Council on Science and Health today presented the "Poison Apple Award," given for the most shocking example of promoting, endorsing and glamorizing a deadly product to ELLE Magazine for encouraging cigarette use by its young female readers. ELLE earned this award for its May issue, which on page 219 contains a promotion for "the ELLE cigarette case," billing this "handsome and sophisticated antique-like silverplated case" as "the stylish way to transport your favorite brand."
Noted Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, president of the American Council on Science and Health, "This goes far beyond the behavior of other women's magazines, which although almost all regrettably feature cigarette advertisements, justify this as simply accepting advertising for a legal product. By making this cigarette case an official magazine promotion, the editors of ELLE re endorsing cigarette smoking. The modern-day Snow White who takes this apple from the wicked stepmothers at ELLE won't have the benefit of Prince Charming to wake her from her sleep--either she will die before he finds her, or her smoking will have made her so unattractive that he won't want to kiss her.
Dr. William Cahan, the Senior Attending Surgeon at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and an ACSH advisor, commented, "The young women who are readers of ELLE are not being told that lung cancer recently surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer mortality in women, nor that smoking produces immediate hazards for women of childbearing age - including inhibiting fertility and dramatically increasing the risk of complications during pregnancy, birth defects, sudden infant death syndrome and cervical cancer.
Added Dr. Whelan, "This product may be elegantly packaged as a 'retro-vice' that
evokes an image of a glamorous past, but no amount of packaging can erase the
knowledge that cigarettes are the number one cause of preventable death in the United
States, or that women now make up the majority of smokers. We can only await the
introduction of the ELLE snuff box and the ELLE opium pipe. For shame!
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