NEW YORK: US lawmakers are urging women's magazines to ditch tobacco ads. Forty one members of Congress have sent an open letter to publishers of titles like Vogue and Cosmopolitan, goaded into action by the launch of a new female-oriented cigarette, Camel No 9.

Maker RJ Reynolds insists the cigarette, which comes in sleek black and fuchsia packaging, is aimed solely at established smokers. But the lawmakers are of the opinion that the company's advertising seeks to lure teenage girls or "replacement smokers" for its "deadly product".

Although tobacco ads are banned on US television, radio and billboards, they are still legal in print.

A report from the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, recently exhorted that all images be banished from print tobacco ads in favor of black and white text only.

Condé Nast, which publishes a number of the titles mentioned in the letter, says the onus is on its individual magazines to decide whether or not to accept cigarette ads.

None of the companies concerned have yet responded to the Congressional letter.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff