(9/97) Who's afraid of the truth?

The November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between tobacco manufacturers and state attorneys general significantly restricted the marketing of tobacco products, made possible markedly expanded tobacco control programs in the states, and provided for the creation of a new foundation whose primary purpose is to combat tobacco use in the United States. This commentary describes the American Legacy Foundation, with particular emphasis on one of its efforts--the "truth" Campaign, a countermarketing effort to reduce smoking among youths. The "truth" Campaign has been well received by the public and is expected to be [corrected] effective in reducing smoking among youths. The only negative reaction to the campaign has been, predictably, from the tobacco industry.  (+info)

(10/97) Tobacco lobby political influence on US state legislatures in the 1990s.

BACKGROUND: Throughout the 1990s the tobacco lobby was a potent political force in US state legislatures advancing its pro-tobacco agenda. OBJECTIVE: To describe the market and political motivations of the tobacco lobby and the strategies they use to achieve these goals in US state legislatures. DESIGN: This study is a content analysis and summary overview of recently released historical tobacco industry documents; tobacco related government documents; and recent state tobacco control policy reports. RESULTS: In the 1990s, the tobacco lobby engaged in a comprehensive and aggressive political effort in state legislatures to sell tobacco with the least hindrance using lobbying, the media, public relations, front groups, industry allies, and contributions to legislators. These efforts included campaigns to neutralise clean indoor air legislation, minimise tax increases, and preserve the industry's freedom to advertise and sell tobacco. The tobacco lobby succeeded in increasing the number of states that enacted state pre-emption of stricter local tobacco control laws and prevented the passage of many state tobacco control policies. Public health advocates were able to prevent pre-emption and other pro-tobacco policies from being enacted in several states. CONCLUSIONS: The tobacco lobby is a powerful presence in state legislatures. Because of the poor public image of the tobacco lobby, it seeks to wield this power quietly and behind the scenes. State and local health advocates, who often have high public credibility, can use this fact against the tobacco lobby by focusing public attention on the tobacco lobby's political influence and policy goals and expose links between the tobacco lobby and its legislative supporters.  (+info)

(11/97) Policy makers' perspectives on tobacco control advocates' roles in regulation development.

OBJECTIVE: To identify, from policy makers' perspectives, strategies that enhance tobacco control advocates' effectiveness in the regulatory arena. DESIGN: Key informant interview component of a comparative case study of regulatory agencies in the USA. SUBJECTS: Policy makers involved in the development of four regulatory tobacco control policies (three state and one federal). METHODS: Interviews of policy makers, field notes, and deliberation minutes were coded inductively. RESULTS: Policy makers considered both written commentary and public testimony when developing tobacco control regulations. They triaged written commentary based upon whether the document was from a peer reviewed journal, a summary of research evidence, or from a source considered credible. They coped with in-person testimony by avoiding being diverted from the scientific evidence, and by assessing the presenters' credibility. Policy makers suggested that tobacco control advocates should: present science in a format that is well organised and easily absorbed; engage scientific experts to participate in the regulatory process; and lobby to support the tobacco control efforts of the regulatory agency. CONCLUSIONS: There is an important role for tobacco control advocates in the policy development process in regulatory agencies.  (+info)

(12/97) Boards of Health as venues for clean indoor air policy making.

OBJECTIVES: This study sought to determine the tobacco industry's strategies for opposing health board actions and to identify elements necessary for public health to prevail. METHODS: Newspaper articles, personal interviews, and tobacco industry documents released through litigation were reviewed. RESULTS: Twenty-five instances in which the tobacco industry opposed health board regulations were identified. It was shown that the tobacco industry uses 3 strategies against health boards: "accommodation" (tobacco industry public relations campaigns to accommodate smokers in public places), legislative intervention, and litigation. These strategies are often executed with the help of tobacco industry front groups or allies in the hospitality industry. CONCLUSIONS: Although many tobacco control advocates believe that passing health board regulations is easier than the legislative route, this is generally not the case. The industry will often attempt to involve the legislature in fighting the regulations, forcing advocates to fight a battle on 2 fronts. It is important for health boards to verify their authority over smoking restrictions and refrain from considering non-health factors (including industry claims of adverse economic impacts) so as to withstand court challenges.  (+info)

(13/97) Tobacco Institute lobbying at the state and local levels of government in the 1990s.

OBJECTIVE: To describe variation in Tobacco Institute (TI) lobbying expenditures across states and test whether these expenditures vary in relationship to measures of tobacco control activity at the state level. INDEPENDENT VARIABLE: Data for this study came from the TI's State Activities Division (SAD) annual budgets for the years 1991-97, excluding 1993. These data include budgetary information pertaining to state and local lobbying activity and special projects reported by state. DEPENDENT VARIABLES: The following measures of state tobacco control activity during the period 1991 to 1997 were considered: (1) American Stop Smoking Intervention Study (ASSIST) funding; (2) voter initiatives to raise cigarette taxes; (3) cigarette excise tax level; (4) workplace smoking restrictions; (5) the intensification of smoke-free air laws covering private worksites, government worksites, and restaurants; (6) the intensification of strength of sales to minors laws; (7) the intensification of strength of laws that punish minors for possessing, purchasing, and/or using cigarettes; (8) state status as a major grower of tobacco; (9) partisan control of state government, 1996; and (10) an overall composite index reflecting a state's strength of tobacco control, combining cigarette prices with workplace and home smoking bans. RESULTS: The overall annual budget for the TI declined steadily during the 1990s, from $47.7 million in 1991 to $28.1 million by 1996. The proportion of the TI's budget allocated to the SAD remained relatively stable at about 30%. TI expenditures for lobbyists were highest in California where tobacco control activity has been strong for the past decade. We found significant associations between TI SAD expenditures and cigarette excise tax levels, the status of a state as a recipient of federal ASSIST funds, and changes in the strength of statewide laws that penalise minors for possessing, purchasing, and/or using cigarettes. We found little or no association between state and local lobbying budgets of the TI and changes in statewide smoke-free air laws, although we did find evidence of TI special project expenditures earmarked to specific states and localities to resist clean indoor air legislation/regulations (that is, Maryland and New York City). We found no significant correlation between TI lobbying expenditures and sales to minors' laws, status as a major producer of tobacco, or partisan control of state government. CONCLUSIONS: The findings from this study support the hypothesis that in the 1990s tobacco control activities such as raising cigarette excise taxes and participation in ASSIST attracted TI resources to undermine these efforts.  (+info)

(14/97) The role of the church in developing the law.

The church and other community organisations have a legitimate role to play in influencing public policy. However, intervention by the church and other religious bodies in recent litigation in Australia and the United Kingdom raises questions about the appropriateness of such bodies being permitted to intervene directly in the court process as amici curiae. We argue that there are dangers in such bodies insinuating their doctrine under the guise of legal argument in civil proceedings, but find it difficult to enunciate a principled distinction between doctrine and legal argument. We advise that judges should exercise caution in dealing with amicus submissions.  (+info)

(15/97) Democracy, embryonic stem cell research, and the Roman Catholic church.

The Roman Catholic Church in Australia has lobbied politicians to prohibit embryonic stem cell research, on the grounds that such research violates the sanctity and inherent dignity of human life. I suggest, however, that reasoned reflection does not uniquely support such conclusions about the morality of stem cell research. A recent parliamentary standing committee report recommended that embryonic stem cell research be allowed to proceed in certain circumstances, and there appears to be widespread support in the Australian community for this position. I argue that the moral value of democracy requires parliamentarians to acknowledge the informed views of the wider community here, and to resist lobbying by church leaders on this issue.  (+info)

(16/97) Tobacco industry success in preventing regulation of secondhand smoke in Latin America: the "Latin Project".

OBJECTIVE: To examine the tobacco industry's strategy to avoid regulations on secondhand smoke exposure in Latin America. METHODS: Systematic search of tobacco industry documents available through the internet. All available materials, including confidential reports regarding research, lobbying, and internal memoranda exchanged between the tobacco industry representatives, tobacco industry lawyers, and key players in Latin America. RESULTS: In Latin America, Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco, working through the law firm Covington & Burling, developed a network of well placed physicians and scientists through their "Latin Project" to generate scientific arguments minimising secondhand smoke as a health hazard, produce low estimates of exposure, and to lobby against smoke-free workplaces and public places. The tobacco industry's role was not disclosed. CONCLUSIONS: The strategies used by the industry have been successful in hindering development of public health programmes on secondhand smoke. Latin American health professionals need to be aware of this industry involvement and must take steps to counter it to halt the tobacco epidemic in Latin America.  (+info)