Did I really open up the [April 15] issue of the Xpress to find a two-page centerfold advertisement for cigarettes in the middle of a deadly pandemic, where the virus attacks the lungs and smokers are among the most vulnerable???
What are your values, Mountain Xpress?
— Chuck Brodsky
Editor’s response: Thank you for expressing your concern about this issue. We understand the objection to running ads for smoking, which is known to cause various ailments, birth defects and death, and is habit forming. For many years, we had a policy of not running tobacco ads, but the newspaper industry has changed, and we have had to adapt to these changes. Xpress is, for the most part, supported by advertising income. As ad sales declined over the past eight or so years, we have turned to other ways to support our mission, which is to build community and strengthen democracy by serving an active, thoughtful readership at the local level. Asking readers to support Xpress financially has been a piece of the solution. Allowing tobacco ads is another. We typically accept ads for businesses that are legal, and tobacco products are among those that are legal. In the case of both tobacco and vaping products, we don’t run ads that appear to appeal to minors. And on a general note, advertising content does not represent the opinions or views of Mountain Xpress.