Tag Archives: Tobacco Money

Has Your Congressman Taken Tobacco Money?

Every six months the Center for Tobacco Policy & Organizing releases new data on tobacco industry contributions to California legislators. This information is important because in California, tobacco interests spend millions of dollars every year on political campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures in an attempt to influence the political landscape at the state legislature. In fact, during the first year of the 2013-2014 election cycle, tobacco interests have already spent more than $2.7 million on campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures to influence legislative policy and elections in California. (And if you haven’t seen it, go check out our searchable contributions database to learn more about whether your legislators have taken contributions.)

Now there is exciting new information nationally on the number of Congress men & women who have (or have not) taken money from the tobacco industry. Read More »

Oil Lobbying in California

As a visitor to this blog, you know that the American Lung Association in California Center for Tobacco Policy and Organizing produces compelling reports on Tobacco Money in Politics to highlight the money the tobacco industry spends lobbying state officials. These reports are invaluable in highlighting the magnitude of the spending power of this industry and provide an important context for the difficult work of protecting our kids from deadly tobacco products.

Just as tobacco companies pour millions into lobbying and public relations to deflect attention away from the dangerous health impacts of smoking, oil companies are investing a fortune on lobbying to undermine clean air policies and protect the market for their polluting products.

Through June of this year, Big Oil has spent over $5 million on lobbying California policy-makers (and no, that doesn’t include donations to political campaigns). The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA is the lobbying organization for California oil interests) spent over $20 million since 2009, and is again leading all spending to influence California politics, and Chevron isn’t far behind (see news coverage, here and here). Given the major oil lobbying push in the Capitol at the end of the legislative session in early September, it will not be a surprise if this trend holds. Read More »

Federal Trade Commission releases new reports

If I had been asked where the bulk of advertising money for the tobacco industry was spent, a week ago I would have said  it was on print advertising. But I was surprised when the Federal Trade Commission issued two new reports identifying price discounts as the largest category of spending for advertising and promotion. According to these reports price discounting made up 78.2% of the total advertising and promotion budget in 2009 and 80% of the advertising and promotion budget in 2010 for cigarettes. For smokeless tobacco, price discounts made up 32.6% in 2009 and 21.4% in 2010. It is no surprise that the total number of cigarettes sold or given away has gone down. From 2008 to 2009 the total number of cigarettes sold or given away decreased by 10% and from 2009-2010 by 3%.  

The trends we see in smokeless tobacco are also predictable (and in line with other reports we have seen recently that identify and uptick in the use of smokeless tobacco products).  In 2009 the amount of smokeless tobacco sold or given away decreased, but then increased in 2010. What is surprising is how much money is being spent to lower the price of their product. Read More »

The Lines They Are a-Changin’

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission officially approved the new maps for Assembly districts, State Senate districts, Congressional districts and Board of Equalization districts on August 15.  District lines were formerly drawn by the California Legislature, but thanks to the passage of Proposition 11 in 2008 and Proposition 20 in 2010, they are now drawn by the citizen commission.  These new districts will be used for elections over the next decade starting with the June 2012 primary election.

There are certainly some clear repercussions for California politics (incumbent vs. incumbent matchups, more competitive elections and early retirements) and many unknown consequences that will play out over the next decade as this reform is combined with the new open primary system.  These new lines could also impact tobacco control.  Here are the major effects of these new district lines on California’s tobacco control efforts: Read More »

Tobacco Money: The Ugly

California’s population makes up 12 percent of the total US population.  California has the second lowest smoking prevalence rate in the nation.  So why did tobacco industry spending on campaign contributions in California account for 71 percent of the total spending on campaign contributions in all 50 states combined?

A 2007 report, Tough Times for Tobacco, by the National Institute on Money in State Politics compares the spending of the tobacco industry in all 50 states during the 2005-2006 election cycle.  The results for California are staggering and not in a good way.  Out of the nearly $96 million total spent in all 50 states on contributions for state ballot measures, state level legislators and state party committees, more than two-thirds of that money ($68.59 million) was spent in California.  Read More »