Smokeshop Says Smoking "Really is Cool!," Draws Ire

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) _ A sign outside a discount tobacco store in Hutchinson is raising a few eyebrows.

For the past several days, the marquee outside The Smoke Stop reads "Smoking really is cool!'' Some parents don't like the message that the sign sends to children. Missy Hoffman said "We're telling our kids this is cool when it's a leading cause of death among Americans.''

Store employee Zac Lovett says no promotion is connected to the slogan, one of several the business posts to attract customers.

Hutchinson City Attorney Carolyn Patterson said that while the sign may be objectionable to some, the wording is not against the law.

The Reno ounty Tobacco Use Prevention Coalition says it focuses on teaching kids to recognize tobacco ads that are targeted at children in order to avoid it.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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