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Puffing Money Away Into Ads

Cigarette manufacturers are spending more money than ever to advertise and promote their products, according to a government report released Thursday.

The industry spent $11.2 billion on advertising and promotions in 2001, the last year for which such figures were available, according to the study by the Federal Trade Commission.

The spending marked a 17 percent increase over 2000, when the industry spent $9.6 billion.

Despite the increase in advertising, cigarette sales dropped 3.8 percent from 2000 levels, the study said.

Cigarette companies spent most of their money, $4.8 billion, on costs associated with offers such as "buy one pack, get one free."

They also spent more than $4 billion for promotional allowances, such as paying retailers for prime shelf space in their stores.

Spending decreased on discount coupons and newspaper and magazine advertising.

Cigarette ads have been banned from television and radio under federal law since 1971.

The FTC has been collecting sales and marketing statistics from the tobacco companies since 1963.

Cigarette manufacturers reached a $206 billion settlement in 1998 with 46 states. The agreement banned cigarette advertising on billboards and public transportation. It also curtailed giveaways of branded merchandise, such as hats with logos, and cigarette samples, and it limited the number of public events such as auto races that companies could sponsor.

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