The number and content of tobacco advertisements were examined in seventy-four gender-oriented popular magazines published during the summer of 1988. More ads were present in women's than men's magazines, and the messages contained in these ads were differentially stressed as a function of the magazine's primary readership. The type of Surgeon General's warning appearing in an ad often was not directed toward the typical concerns of the readership of the magazine in which the ad appeared. This survey, and a follow-up three months later, indicated that the Surgeon General's report on nicotine addiction, published in the Spring of 1988, had no apparent effect on the number of ads placed. Advertising revenues received by publishers from conglomerates which control the manufacture of food as well as tobacco products may be partially responsible for this finding. It was concluded that effective drug education programs should encourage skepticism when tobacco advertisements are examined.