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NCI Study Shows' Weekly Reader' Conveyed Tobacco Industry Message

NCI Study Shows' Weekly Reader' Conveyed Tobacco Industry Message

WASHINGTON--A study funded by a $600,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute shows that for a 5-year period the Weekly Reader, a newspaper aimed at schoolchildren, may have had a pro-smoking stance. Since 1991, the weekly has been owned by K-III Holdings, a subsidiary of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., which until last spring was majority owner of RJR Nabisco, the second largest US tobacco company.

During the period of study, from 1989 to 1994, 68% of the Weekly Reader's articles on smoking included the tobacco industry's views, while only 38% included an antismoking message, the University of California, San Francisco, researchers found. In addition, Joe Camel, RJR's cartoon mascot, made an appearance in eight of 34 articles studied.

 
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