This is purely of academic interest in Canada, where tobacco advertising has been banned for years, but U.S. subscribers to Newsweek can apparently now request tobacco-ad-free issues of the magazine, according to a story in the St. Petersburg Times. These selectively bound issues have been available for quite some time to schools, but apparently they are available to ordinary subscribers, too.
Magazines don't typically look to remove advertising from their pages. But that is what Newsweek promises with an advertisement for "tobacco ad-free" editions that was published in the New York Times. The ad, however, wasn't placed by Newsweek, but by antismoking organizations Tobacco Action Coalition of Long Island and NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City. Newsweek has been offering schools a version of its magazine without tobacco advertising, but isn't advertising the alternative versions to the public. A spokeswoman, however, said the magazine will send copies to individual subscribers who request them.(Readers of a certain age will remember when tobacco ads were magazine mainstays in Canada, too, particularly for newspaper supplements like Weekend and Canadian (Today). The Canadian magazine industry has bridled for years because U.S. subscriptions could come into Canada with their tobacco ads (and, for that matter, their prescription drug ads) intact even though they were forbidden by law.)