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SEATTLE-- An ad campaign to promote healthy lifestyles has been rejected by King County Metro Transit.

Anti-tobacco ads, which depict a girl asking stores to sell fruit instead of tobacco, were rejected by Metro because they do not comply with its advertising policy.

Last winter, Metro changed the policy after a controversy involving opposing groups who wanted to run Israeli and Palestinian billboards on buses. In turn, non-commercial messages were restricted.

According to Metro's policy, advertising expressing or advocating an opinion, position or viewpoint on matters of public debate about economic, political, religious or social issues is prohibited.

Metro officials said they rejected the King County Health Department's Healthier Options and Let's Do this King County ads because they do not accept ads that express opinions on matters of public debate and want to be consistent with those restrictions.

The Health Department admits the ads are provocative and urge businesses and citizens to take action.

We're asking people to work with their PTA, school groups, local governments, said Matias Valenzuela, Public Education Coordinator for the department.

The King County Health Department received $800,000 for the campaigns from a federal grant.

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