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Our last edition described a cynical campaign by Philip Morris to get its highly dubious messages in front of US schoolchildren, and simultaneously to try to win respect or favours from naive politicians (Tobacco Control2001;10:8). So it is good to learn of a counter offensive from Los Angeles, where people with health in mind, rather than the public relations or promotional concerns of tobacco companies, have been distributing book covers to school children. By February, 16 500 book covers designed by a specialist firm, AnimAction, had been distributed to schools serving 11–15 year olds in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), with another 30 000 planned to be distributed to high schools (16–18 year olds). The LAUSD is the second largest school district in the USA, with around 700 000 children enrolled representing a wide spectrum of ethnic and cultural backgrounds.