Tobacco Company Cancels Promotion After Criticism From Attorneys General
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco on Wednesday announced that it would cancel its "Drinks on Us" promotion after attorneys general from California, Maryland and New York criticized the campaign, saying it promoted excessive alcohol consumption, the Sacramento Bee reports. The promotion included sending six beverage coasters with recipes for alcoholic drinks to people 21 years old or older on their birthdays (McIntosh, Sacramento Bee, 12/15).
In their complaint, California Attorney General Bill Lockyer (D) and the two other attorneys general said research has shown that people are more likely to smoke when drinking and smokers who regularly drink are almost twice as likely to develop genetic mutations associated with lung cancer as those who do not drink regularly (California Healthline, 12/14).
Reynolds attorney James Beckett said in a letter, "Upon careful reconsideration, the beverage coaster program has been terminated. No further mailings will be processed; mailings initiated prior to the date of this letter cannot be withdrawn" (Sacramento Bee, 12/15).