Tobacco Interests Spent Over $51 Million in the Past Year to Exert Influence on California Legislative Policy and Elections

 Tobacco Interests Spent Over $51 Million in the Past Year to Exert Influence
                on California Legislative Policy and Elections

PR Newswire

SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 16, 2013

Tobacco Money in Politics report exposes industry's political contributions
for 2011-2012 legislative cycle.

SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Tobacco
interests spent a total of $51.1 million during the 2011-2012 election cycle
to fight Proposition 29 and to influence legislators and policies in
California, according to a recent report by the American Lung Association in
California Center for Tobacco Policy & Organizing.

"The numbers in this report are clear, Big Tobacco continues to use its vast
financial resources to oppose bills and life-saving ballot initiatives that
would benefit public health," said Jane Warner, President and CEO of the
American Lung Association in California. "This fact, though disturbing,
further inspires the American Lung Association in California and millions of
Californians to stop the tobacco industry in its tracks. We are committed to
preventing children from ever picking up their first cigarette, helping
smokers quit and fighting the lung diseases that so often result from smoking.
We will not relent until the public sees through the tobacco industry's
smokescreen."

Tobacco Money in California Politics shows that tobacco interests contributed
more than $46.5 million to political committees working to oppose Proposition
29 which would have prevented the deaths of more than 100,000 Californians
from smoking related illnesses had it passed. Almost 70% of the $46.5 million
came from Philip Morris, USA. Further, the industry also spent $2.1 million
during this period to lobby the legislature on 14 different bills.

Tobacco Money in California Politics contains full details on which bills were
lobbied by tobacco interests, and lists legislators and political committees
who accepted contributions from the industry. Highlights include:

  oPhilip Morris, USA, RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, and the California
    Distributors Association spent more than $49 million in campaign
    contributions during the 2011-2012 election cycle.
  oOf the 120 California state legislators, tobacco interests made campaign
    contributions to 57 members, or just under half of the total. This is in
    line with past election cycles.
  oTobacco interests contributed to 5 of 36 new legislators. This number is a
    significant decrease from the previous election cycle where tobacco
    interests contributed to 12 of 31 new legislators, likely because few
    candidates backed by the tobacco industry were elected into office.

A full copy of Campaign Contributions and Lobbying Expenditures of Tobacco
Interests in California is available at
www.Center4TobaccoPolicy.org/tobaccomoney.

The Center for Tobacco Policy & Organizing is a project of the American Lung
Association in California and funded by the California Department of Public
Health. The Center assists local communities to address tobacco related
policies using community organizing strategies, and provides policy
information and analysis regarding tobacco related legislation and policy
issues. To learn more about the American Lung Association in California call
1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lung.org/california.

Media Contact: Maria Bernabe, 310.735.9184, Maria.Bernabe@lung.org

SOURCE American Lung Association in California

Website: http://www.lung.org/california
 
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