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Blocking access to online tobacco sales sites
  1. K A Reagan,
  2. T Hong,
  3. E L Cohen,
  4. M J Cody
  1. Annenberg School for Communication, 3502 Watt Way, ASC 101C Annenberg Building, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0281
  1. Correspondence to:
 Michael J Cody;

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Recent research expresses concern about adolescents attempting to buy cigarettes on the internet.1 Since the Master Settlement Agreement restrictions on the tobacco industry do not apply to the internet, the internet is an open channel for pro-tobacco images and promotions. According to Forrester Research, sales will approach $5 billion by 2003, potentially causing states to loose $1.3 billion dollars in tax revenues.2 Frequent exposure to icons and symbols increases liking, and can make unhealthy activities appear “normative”. Craving or possessing tobacco promotional materials is related to positive attitudes toward tobacco and to susceptibility.3, 4 The images of pro-tobacco sites can make tobacco use appear glamorous, as tobacco websites portray smokers as young, thin, and attractive, and often …

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  • * Level 1 could include sex and smoking, underaged smoking, erotic posturing, smoking, and bondage. Level 2 could include erroneous or harmful information. Level 3 could include sites that simply sell cigarettes, cigars, and so on.