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This Article evaluates the constitutionality of a representative series of congressional proposals to limit tobacco advertising. Federal legislation codifying the tobacco settlement included possible restrictions on outdoor advertising, a prohibition on the use of cartoon images, permitting only tombstone format for advertisements in publications that target a youth audience, a prohibition on the sale or gift of promotional items bearing tobacco product names or logos, a ban on industry sponsorship of sporting and other cultural events, and restrictions on Internet promotions. The Author suggests that upon seeking to prevent tobacco companies from encouraging illegal tobacco use by minors, the FDA's advertising restrictions, and any comparable legislation enacted by Congress, limits a broad category of commercial speech. The Article concludes that the enormous congressional and public support for the important goals of the legislation, combined with the still flexible constitutional protection for commercial speech, suggests that the advertising restrictions would, in the end, withstand constitutional scrutiny and to some extent, reduce adolescent tobacco use.

Recommended Citation

29 U. Tol. L. Rev. 637 (1998)