tobacco industry

Poll Shows 82% of Americans Oppose the Repug/Blue Dog Tobacco Buyout Plan
tobacco industry

Here's glaring proof that Repugs and Blue Dog Democrats (Democrat in name only) are totally out of touch with the American people. Led by Repug Bill Thomas of the Ways and Means Committee, House Repugs and Blue Dogs have sneakily slipped an addition in to an FSC/ETI bill that would, in essence, hand the tobacco industry hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Called the "Tobacco Buyout Plan," it is really a Tobacco Pork Barrel. A survey conducted by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids reveals that 80% of Americans oppose the plan. But do the Repugs and Blue Dogs care? Nope. One happy tobacco baron is worth tens of millions of unhappy Americans to these creeps.(bill info: http://www.hillnews.com/business/060804_thomas.aspx

Bush Signs Global Tobacco Treaty...But Will He Have it Ratified?
tobacco industry

As we all know, this administration uses corporate ploys to scoop up PR and weasel out of responsibility, whichever need presents itself. A prime example: pledging $15 billion in AIDS help to Africa, but never actually sending the money to Africans. Now Bush, in need of good PR is making a big show of signing the Global Tobacco Treaty. But, says the American Lung Association, does he intend to activate it by having it ratified? "Signing the treaty is good public relations; ratifying it will be good public health," said John L. Kirkwood, president and CEO of the American Lung Association. "Merely signing it without Senate ratification is a hollow victory." The Treaty will reduce tobacco's toll globally. according to U.S. law, the Senate must ratify the treaty before this country can implement it domestically and internationally.

Who Scoops Up the Most Bucks in Dirty Corporate Money? The Repubs, by a Whopping Margin
tobacco industry

There is corporate money...and then there is dirty corporate money, as in the tobacco industry, gun industry, oil monopolies and other dealers of death, either directly (guns and cigarettes) or indirectly (big polluters). The biggest porkers at the dirty trough are Republicans by a wide margin. Here's an example: While John Edwards took no tobacco money and John Kerry actually RETURNED $2,500 between 1997-2003, look at the haul made by these leading Repugs in the same time period: Tom Delay $52,000, Chuck Hagel $28,000, Elizabeth Dole $48,750, Billy Tauzin $76,055. Check out the lopsided distribution of these tobacco co. donations!

Since 1997, Tobacco Corporations Have Lavished over 70% of All Campaign Donations on the GOP
tobacco industry

The National Center for Tobacco Free Kids reports: "Tobacco company PACs donated $764,500 directly to federal candidates, with 71 percent of the total donations going to Republican candidates and 29 percent going to Democratic candidates. Tobacco PACs have donated over $623,000 to non-candidate committees, including Democratic and Republican party committees and leadership PACs established by individual members of Congress. Of the total, $466,499 (75 percent) went to the Republicans, $115,500 (18 percent) to the Democrats and $41,970 (7 percent) to non-party committees." Add to that this tidbit: Karl Rove was a paid political consultant to Philip Morris from 1991-1996, DURING the time the company was involved in drug money laundering in Colombia.

Bush FDA Allows Tobacco Industry to Peddle Nicotine Disguised as Candy without Regulation
tobacco industry

Nicotine is a DRUG. It is a powerful drug. It can, in sufficient doses, kill. Yet the Bush FDA has decided to give the tobacco industry a loophole in its quest to addict consumers - and keep them addicted - to nicotine. This week the FDA ruled that tobacco pellets sold in drugstores and supermarkets as an alternative to cigarettes cannot be regulated under current laws. Worse yet, this drug is sold in the form of a tasty mint candy - who needs Joe Camel with hooks like this?! The candy-like drug is now sold in 46 states under the deceptively innocuous name "Ariva." What's next? Jack Daniels gumdrops?

Dems Decry Pentagon-Approved Marketing of Smokeless Tobacco Products to Troops in Iraq
tobacco industry

Newsday reports: "Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Bill Janklow, R-S.D., said the giveaway and subsequent marketing [to US troops in Iraq] by U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. amounted to an irresponsible attempt to return to the days in which service members were given free cigarettes in their ration kits, which ended in 1975. 'It appears that U.S. Smokeless Tobacco is seeking to revive the disastrous policy of distributing free tobacco products to men and women in the armed services," the lawmakers wrote in a letter sent to the company Tuesday. Janklow, a former smoker, said he got hooked on cigarettes as a Marine. The lawmakers say they became aware of the company's actions from a U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. newspaper ad that showed Marines holding cans of snuff and displayed grateful letters from the Marines to the tobacco company."

Surgeon General Backs Tobacco Ban
tobacco industry

The WashPost reports: "Surgeon General Richard Carmona said yesterday that he supports banning tobacco products, the first time that the government's top doctor and public health advocate has made such a strong statement about the historically contentious subject. Testifying at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on smokeless tobacco and 'reduced risk' tobacco products, Carmona was asked if he would 'support the abolition of all tobacco products .'I would at this point, yes,' he replied... he did say that he 'would support banning or abolishing tobacco products. 'If Congress chose to go that way, that would be up to them,' he said. 'But I see no need for any tobacco products in society.' Bush administration officials quickly distanced themselves from the comments, saying that they represented Carmona's views as a doctor rather than the position of the administration." This genius wants to create another black market of illegal drugs.

Cigarette Company Documents Outline Strategy to Derail Global Tobacco Treaty
tobacco industry

Ben Coates writes for the Center for Public Integrity: "With the first global treaty to regulate tobacco set to be debated next week, newly released internal company records reveal a key tobacco industry player's sophisticated campaign against the proposed accord. British American Tobacco, the world's second largest tobacco company with 2002 revenue of about $40 billion, considered a two-pronged strategy: projecting a public image of corporate social responsibility while simultaneously working to prevent the enactment of a tough worldwide treaty, the documents show."

Waxman Wants Philip Morris Investigated
tobacco industry

"A leading anti-tobacco lawmaker on Thursday asked a congressional committee to investigate Philip Morris USA for destroying e-mail relevant to a Justice Department lawsuit. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said Philip Morris deleted information about cigarette marketing, government lobbying and the health effects of smoking, violating a 1999 court order that the company preserve the documents."

Thanks to Bush, Global Tobacco Treaty is Going 'Up in Smoke'
tobacco industry

Tali Woodward writes: "The World Health Organization has spent three years crafting a global tobacco treaty. As negotiations come down to the wire, U.S. delegates appointed by Bush's tobacco-friendly White House are gutting it...Bush's famously powerful chief of staff, Karl Rove, was a tobacco-industry lobbyist for five years, once earning $3,000 a month as a part-time political strategist for Philip Morris (which just changed its name to Altria). Daniel Troy, now the Food and Drug Administration's chief counsel, represented the tobacco industry when it sued the FDA over tobacco regulation. And Kirk Blalock, a former Philip Morris public-relations official, works as a business liaison for the Bush administration. Then there's Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, who received $72,000 in campaign contributions from Philip Morris executives when he was governor of Wisconsin - and has also advised the primary tobacco lobbying firm in Washington, D.C."

Are AOL and the Tobacco Industry Colluding to Rip Off States and Sell Smokes to Minors? The Evidence Says YES!
tobacco industry

If you sign up for AOL's Electronic Greeting card service, as soon as you give them your credit card info, you'll be hit with a plug for the GOP, followed by a plug for one of the GOP's closest supporters:: the tobacco industry. "Buy Cigarettes online by the carton and stop paying high cigarette taxes! Never run out again! Sign up today to find out how you can buy cigarettes online from the Smokers Co-op's trusted member merchants who can legally avoid paying state & local sales taxes on cigarettes (eg. Marlboro, Camel, & more) & other tobacco related products. " In other words, all you teens and pre-teens out there using AOL, all ya gotta do to get your smokes without ID is get hold of a credit card and the tobacco folks will bring the stuff right to your door. We demand an investigation of this abuse of the Internet!

Big Tobacco Execs Charged with Global Racketeering, Should Also Be Tried for Treason
tobacco industry

Bush's anti-drug campaign is trying to equate the purchase of drugs, including marijuana for medicinal purposes as "supporting terrorism," thus implying complicity with terrorists. By this definition of terrorist complicity, the execs at big U.S. tobacco companies ought to be rounded up and thrown in "indefinite detention," if not tried for treason. A racketeering lawsuit filed by the European community and 10 member nations has charged Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds of running a global, decades-long cigarette smuggling operation that robbed national treasuries of billions of dollars in tax revenue and became a money-laundering vehicle for criminal organizations. Worse, since the Gulf War, the companies have traded with the enemy, sending billions of cigarettes into Iraq, often with the aid of terrorist organizations.

Center for Public Integrity: White House Sought to Soften Anti-Terrorism Legislation in Support of Tobacco Companies
tobacco industry

"The Bush administration sought to use anti-terrorism legislation, rushed through Congress in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, to shield U.S. tobacco companies from foreign lawsuits alleging cigarette smuggling and money laundering...Known in legislative parlance as a 'rule of construction,' the administration-backed measure was added to the Financial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001 late on Oct. 16, on the eve of its passage in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. But the rule ran into strong opposition from Democratic senators and was not part of the USA PATRIOT Act, which President Bush signed into law on Oct. 26. House wording that would have expanded existing law on money laundering crimes to include specifically fraud against foreign governments, however, was eliminated. The rule of construction did not refer directly to tobacco companies. But it was backed by the White House, Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Tx." So writes Maud Beelman.

Bush: Don't Pardon Big Tobacco!
tobacco industry

"President Bush is on the verge of letting Big Tobacco off the hook. He wants to settle the government's lawsuit against Big Tobacco -- before the trial even starts. We can't afford to let him pardon Big Tobacco. The Bush Administration's effort to settle the tobacco lawsuit smells like a sweetheart deal for the tobacco industry. Big Tobacco gave over $8.3 million in campaign contributions in the 2000 election. If President Bush is serious about protecting the public health, he should aggressively pursue the lawsuit and make it clear that his Administration will not give Big Tobacco a sweetheart deal." Send a letter to Bush!

'Pro-Life' Bu$h Sabotages Global Smoking Treaty to Reward His Tobacco Paymasters
tobacco industry

Away from the glare of cameras, Bu$h is sabotaging yet another treaty - one to reduce cigarette smoking worldwide and save millions of lives. Bu$h is undercutting mandatory remedies by making them only voluntary; opposes health warnings in the language of the country where the cigarettes are sold; tried to soften language restricting tobacco advertising aimed at children; and opposed restrictions on smoking on public transportation and in "enclosed public places," to reduce second-hand smoke. Our top negotiator, Thomas E. Novotny, resigned in despair at the new Bu$h position. Once again, Bu$h is putting the profits of his paymasters - this time, the tobacco companies - ahead of the lives of people around the world.

Philip Morris Wants to Expose Dying Smoker's Past Criminal Record to Avoid Paying Jury Award
tobacco industry

We're not surprised by this one. After all, this is the same company who asserted recently that smoking was good because it helped kill off the surplus population. Now the company is making the case that only law-abiding citizens contract lung cancer from smoking cigarettes. Why? It wants to worm its way out of paying damages to a long-time smoker and lung cancer victim Richard Boeken, by dragging up the man's past. Although Boeken's criminal record proves he was no angel, he was not the one on trial here. He paid his debt to society and now he's paying for his smoking habit with his life. But the corporate attitude is that the consumer is responsible for everything, including corporate fraud, collusion, and suppression of information (an attitude shared by Bush's nominee for consumer protection, Sheila Gall, alas!).

Philip Morris Tells Czech Government that Smoking Saves Money by Killing off Excess Citizens Early
tobacco industry

NOTE: We are proud to say we were one of the first US outlets to post this story (this is a repost, as it was buried under nearly 2 days of subsequest posts). Philip Morris spent millions on a PR campaign to convince Americans it has transformed into a responsible company. But as it airs "public service" ads to pacify Americans, overseas, it is at the same time pushing a very different message to those it perceives as "Third Worlders." A report produced for Philip Morris for the Czech Republic government shortly after the 2000 election asserts that smoking is good for the Czech government’s finances, because of the savings from early deaths caused by smoking. Czech public health official Eva Kralikova is outraged. If that's the sort of reptilian attitude harbored by the company, says Kralikova, then why doesn't the company just recommend that the government just " kill all people on the day of their retirement?" But Bush is all for big tobacco and is actually HELPING them spread their evil abroad. UPDATE: The odious corporate front outfit, the Cato Institute, has sprung to Philip Morris's defense, saying early smoking deaths are just a fact, so too bad!

Philip Morris Tells Czech Government that Smoking Saves Money by Killing off Excess Citizens Early
tobacco industry

Philip Morris spent millions on a PR campaign to convince Americans it has transformed into a responsible company. But as it airs "public service" ads to pacify Americans, overseas, it is at the same time pushing a very different message to those it perceives as "Third Worlders." A report produced for Philip Morris for the Czech Republic government shortly after the 2000 election asserts that smoking is good for the Czech government's finances, because of the savings from early deaths caused by smoking. Czech public health official Eva Kralikova is outraged. If that's the sort of reptilian attitude harbored by the company, says Kralikova, then why doesn't the company just recommend that the government just "kill all people on the day of their retirement?" But Bush is all for big tobacco and is actually HELPING them spread their evil abroad.

$15 million GOP Fundraiser Hosted by Tobacco Industry Lobbyists to Guarantee Bush Fixes Settlement Case the 'Right' Way
tobacco industry

On the very day that newspaper headlines delivered news of the Administration’s plans to settle the federal suit against the tobacco industry out of court, industry lobbyists are organizing a GOP fundraiser next week expected to haul in $15 million for the party. Shrubmeister will be the guest of honor at this 'black tie and [jack]boots' gala. Shrub has intentionally impeded the federal case against the industry, and is expected to broker a "sweetheart deal" for these shameless pushers. But what do you expect? Shrub's already scooped up $7 million from big tobacco in 2000.

American Cancer Society Joins Coalition Opposing Loophole-ridden Tobacco Bill Aimed at Protecting the Industry, Not Kids
tobacco industry

The American Cancer Society has joined the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, and the Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids in opposition to "The National Youth Smoking Reduction Act" (H.R. 2180). The legislation, recently introduced by Representative Tom Davis R-VA , purportedly gives the FDA authority over tobacco products. But the bill is obviously designed to protect the industry, not children. "The Davis Bill has more holes in it than a moth-eaten shirt, "said Dileep G. Bal, pres. of the American Cancer Society. Bal says the Bill is "totally unacceptable" and "an absolute nonstarter in the public health community." Among other things, the law bars the FDA from overseeing the use of specious claims like "low tar" or "less risk of cancer" or to regulate the product based on the latest safety standards. The heads of the above organizations have sent a letter of protest to the Congress.

Bush Wants to Cut a Sweetheart Deal for Tobacco Industry to Keep them Out of Federal Court
tobacco industry

Shrub's effort to quietly kill the pending federal tobacco lawsuit by cutting off funding to prosecutors backfired (did he think no one would notice his antics?). Now he's trying a new, equally oily tactic: He wants to settle the case out of court, thereby screening his sleazy tobacco buddies from more public scrutiny and minimizing any costs to them. This move comes despite thousands of calls to the White House by private citizens demanding that the case go forward. But Shrub could care less about the public - most of them make under $50,000/year and are of little use to Daddy Whorebucks. On the other hand, of the $8.3 million the tobacco industry pumped into the last election, a whopping 83% went to the GOP.

Jeb Bush Channels Pension Fund into Tobacco Stocks to Aid Industry Buddies While Ignoring Risks, Public Opinion
tobacco industry

It is astounding how absolutely without conscience the Bush boys are. Now Jeb Bush and two of his henchmen in the FLA state government have unanimously approved a move to turn a big chunk of the state's $99-billion pension fund into tobacco stocks. That's right, folks: tobacco stocks - right at a time when the industry is facing some 200 multi-billion-dollar law suits and the inevitable phase out of its product over time. Geez - what does he have against state employees? The state unloaded nearly one billion dollars in tobacco stocks from the fund four years ago in anticipation of a big FLA lawsuit. Now Jeb has set up a sweet deal for his family's tobacco industry pals by creating a new policy that exempts pension money from being tapped by the FLA settlement with cigarette makers. That way he can pump citizens' money into an industry that the same citizens have made plain they revile. Let's see...what's that Bush family salespitch: "It's your money!" Yeah, right!

Happy Mother's Day from George W. Death: Thousands of Motherless Kids Thanks to Tobacco Industry
tobacco industry

For G. W. Death and the tobacco industry, it's now back to business as usual: hook women and kids on tobacco, suck up their money and watch them die. This Mother's Day, 86,000 kids are without moms thanks to smoking-related mortalities. Each year, another 12,000 kids under 18 lose their mothers this way. With G.W. in charge, the toll will surely rise; he's made it plain he'll defend the industry's right to kill no matter what and is now seeking to dismantle decades of progress made against the industry All of you who have lost someone to tobacco, send a card in that person's name to Shrub demanding his accountability in their memory.

George W. Death Guts U.S. Stance on International Anti-Tobacco Convention to Aid Industry Pals
tobacco industry

First Bush trashes the Kyoto Protocol, now he's gutted the International Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the world's first treaty aimed at reducing death and disease caused by smoking around the world. But money talks louder than suffering and death in Bushworld: the industry spent $8.3 million to get Bush elected in exchange for a reversal in U.S. tobacco policy domestically and internationally. Hey - 400,000 tobacco deaths per year in America alone is just one of those little costs of doing business, right, George W. Death?

GOP Mega-Contributor RJ Reynolds Ran A Homophobic And Classist Tobacco Marketing Campaign
tobacco industry

"In its efforts to increase cigarette sales in the mid-1990s, tobacco company R.J. Reynolds hit on a novel bit of niche marketing in San Francisco, according to recently uncovered documents. It created a campaign that focused mainly on two groups of smokers: gays in the Castro and homeless in the Tenderloin. The company called its new project 'subculture urban marketing' and gave it a memorable acronym: 'Project SCUM.'"

Bush Team Accused Of Poisoning Global Health Pact For Big Tobacco
tobacco industry

"Negotiations for a [World Health Organization] global pact to curb tobacco use stumbled this week, with major countries backing away from tougher provisions and health campaigners charging that the Bush administration was trying to water down the treaty...Antismoking activists charged the United States and Japan with siding with tobacco multinationals by diluting treaty language designed to curb the influences of the tobacco companies and their commercial reach, thus undermining provisions that campaigners had thought were settled during the first negotiating round last fall...But the most stinging criticism after this week's round of talks was reserved for the United States, with some health campaigners going so far as to urge the American delegation to drop out of the talks rather than weaken the pact."

Bush Uses 'Selective Underfunding' to Protect his Tobacco Industry Buddies from Massive Lawsuit
tobacco industry

Bush is trying to derail a massive civil lawsuit against the tobacco industry brought by the Justice Department under Janet Reno by failing to provide any funding to continue the case. The suit, filed in 1999, accuses the industry of putting profits before health by trying to hide the horrendous health impacts of their product. The civil litigation lawyers have sent a memo to John Ashcroft pointing out that without funding, the Bush administration is, in essence, killing the case. Many members of Congress - most Republicans - are rallying round the industry like seagulls around a garbage scow. We guess the next step is for Bush and his friends to buy some scientists who will reverse 50 years of research and proclaim that cigarettes are good for everyone - especially kids!