NEW YORK — Most Americans do not believe cigarette advertising should be banned, although they favor broad restrictions on smoking, according to poll results issued Sunday by three anti-smoking groups.
The findings contradict a recent American Medical Assn. survey in which 64% of the respondents favored a ban on cigarette advertising.
In the new poll, conducted for the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Assn. and the American Lung Assn., 62% of those questioned said that cigarette ads should be permitted in magazines and newspapers.
A report accompanying the poll said the results differed from the earlier survey because the AMA prefaced its question by telling respondents that the AMA supported a ban on cigarette advertising.
A spokesman for the Tobacco Institute, Scott Stapf, said the new results prove that the AMA "doctored" its results. He said the new poll was "pretty damaging" to the anti-smoking groups.
However, nine of every 10 people questioned for the survey support "no smoking" sections in public places; two out of three believe that smoking indoors is harmful to nonsmokers in the vicinity, and six of 10 believe that cigarette advertising causes youngsters to start smoking.
Eight of 10 believe that employers should be allowed to limit smoking locations in the workplace, but only 20% think employers should discriminate against smokers in hiring.
A spokesman for the groups sponsoring the poll said they were encouraged by its findings, including those on advertising.