Annually, the tobacco industry contributes over $1.6 million to federal candidates and spends approximately $16.6 million lobbying Congress.
This money buys the tobacco industry access to government officials and influence over laws. This is a serious problem because there is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the tobacco industry’s interests and public health policy interests.
This is not a problem for one party; politicians on both sides of the aisle accept tobacco industry campaign contributions. This is not a problem for just one state; 46 states have candidates who accepted some campaign funds from the tobacco industry. The only states that have no state level candidates that accepted funds from tobacco corporations during the 2013-2014 election are Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, and Washington, DC. Industries that threaten public health should not control public health policy.
On a positive note, this spring, in honor of World No Tobacco Day, ASH certified 193 Senators and Congressman as “Free From Tobacco Money,” an award given to those representatives that have not accepted any campaign contributions from tobacco in the last 10 years. Read more here>
The tobacco industry has always been a major player in congressional campaigns, and tomorrow, the ASH Tobacco Campaign Contribution Map highlights just how pervasive tobacco money is in politics.
Check the ASH Tobacco Campaign Contribution Map to see how much your state representative has received from tobacco corporations in the 2013-2014 election, and then write, tweet or call your representative and tell them why it’s important that they refuse tobacco funding.
Not sure who your representative is? Find out here>