Letter: Why run a cigarette ad?

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I love the Mountain Xpress. I hadn’t had time to read a copy in months, so I was excited to open this latest edition. Then totally shocked to see a full-page ad for cigarettes! I assumed that these were some kind of brand-new “safe” cigarettes but reading further — nope.

You at least had the large disclaimer of a few of the deadly health effects, so my question is why would the MX even consider running an ad for this? Horrible and disappointing that you would support this kind of advertising just for a buck? Are you going to start advertising for McDonald’s and Popeyes next?

— Virginia Oman

Editor’s response: We love our readers, too, and we’re sorry to disappoint you. But advertising still brings in well over 90% of our revenue. Virtually all newspapers are desperately short of funds, and while reader support has been a help, we’ve still had to lay off staff, cut back on issue size and operate on a dramatically scaled-back budget. Meanwhile, tobacco ads are legal; as you mention, they contain disclaimers and warnings. Also, advertisements in Xpress do not indicate an endorsement of the product or service. We do prefer to support our operation with local ads, but the current times are a major challenge. We hope you’ll patronize the businesses you like and remember that advertising pays for the newsgathering and reporting you read in Mountain Xpress.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

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2 thoughts on “Letter: Why run a cigarette ad?

  1. Jarrod

    Keep the revenue streams rolling in. As an avid reader and supporter of Mountain Xpress I have no issue in the promotion of and advertising of legal products.

  2. Linda r

    As stated, the publication must run ads in order to continue. I don’t smoke, drink or attend music fests but do not have an issue with it being advertised.
    There is absolutely no need to be do prim, proper and nit- picking because you see an ad you don’t approve of!

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