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Cigarette Company Cleared in Legal Dispute

An appeals court in Ohio has ruled the R.J. Reynolds cigarette company did not intentionally target youths with an advertisement in Rolling Stone magazine.

The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch reported Friday the Franklin County Court of Appeals overturned a lower county court's decision that the tobacco company violated a 1998 master settlement that banned cigarette companies using cartoons to market their products to youths.

The case began when R.J. Reynolds placed a multipage advertisement in Rolling Stone magazine on Nov. 17, 2007. The advertisement was placed next to cartoons featured in the music magazine, leading to claims the cigarette company was endangering young smokers.

After a Franklin County Common Pleas Court supported then-Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann's allegations, R.J. Reynolds appealed.

The three-judge appellate court panel ruled Thursday that R.J. Reynolds could not control the editorial content of the magazine. The cartoons featured next to the cigarette advertisement were part of a music story run by Rolling Stone, the Dispatch said.

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