(CN) – Illinois and five other states claim R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. violated a ban on use of cartoons in cigarette advertisements, in Rolling Stone magazine’s November issue, in a section that combines cigarette ads and magazine-produced illustrations of independent rock music. “RJR continues to use its advertisements to lure young people into a deathly habit that remains the No. 1 preventable cause of death in the United States,” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said.
The tobacco industry and 46 states reached a settlement in 1998 in which the industry reimbursed states for smoking-related health care costs. The settlement prohibited the use of cartoons in advertisements.
California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington also sued. The states demand a $100 fine for each magazine distributed within their borders, $100 for each hit on R.J. Reynolds’ Web site, and removal of the ads.
If all 46 states involved in the 1998 settlement get involved, fines could exceed $100 million.