Tobacco Industry Gave Nearly $2.2 Million in Political Contributions So Far in 2001-2002 Election Cycle

Quarterly Report Shows Correlation between Money and Pro-Industry Legislation

Nov. 20 2001

Washington, DC — The tobacco industry contributed nearly $2.2 million in soft money and political action committee (PAC) contributions to federal candidates, political parties and political committees through October 1 of the 2001-2002 election cycle, according to a quarterly report issued today by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association.

The report also details how political contributions and lobbying expenditures influenced the introduction and support of legislation supported by Philip Morris and opposed by the public health community that would provide for weak regulation of tobacco products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The report details the following contributions so far in the 2001-2002 election cycle:

  • Tobacco companies, along with tobacco company executives and employees, have donated more than $1.3 million in soft money to the Democratic and Republican parties. More than half of these soft money donations came from Philip Morris.

  • Tobacco company PACs have donated $564,800 directly to federal candidates, with 75 percent ($427,250) of the total donations going to Republican candidates.

  • Tobacco PACs have donated more than $300,000 to non-candidate committees, including Democratic and Republican party committees and leadership PACs established by individual members of Congress.

  • The four largest cigarette manufacturers spent over $8 million to lobby members of Congress in the first six months of 2001 alone.

The tobacco industry has contributed more than $18 million since 1997, including almost $12 million in soft money and $6 million in PAC contributions. Since 1999, the four largest cigarette companies have spent more than $44 million on lobbying the U.S. Congress.

"The tobacco industry has used its political muscle to thwart effective health policies in Congress for decades," said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "Today's report tells us why there has been no action on tobacco this year, despite the fact that thousands of kids start smoking every day and 400,000 Americans die every year from tobacco."

Demonstrating how the tobacco industry's contributions are used to thwart public health policy, the report details contributions to the sponsors and cosponsors of ineffective FDA legislation supported by Philip Morris.

The 16 House members who are sponsoring the Philip Morris-backed bill, H.R 2180 have received, on average, more than 18 times as much money from the tobacco industry as the 103 sponsors of a public health community-supported FDA bill, H.R.1097 ($8,535 vs. $474).

Campaign Contributions by Tobacco Interests is a quarterly report issued by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association. It is an update to a report released in March called Buying Influence, Selling Death, which detailed tobacco industry contributions and the correlation between contributions that Members of Congress received and how they vote on tobacco-related issues. All the contributions cited in this reported are based on data released by the FEC as of October 1, 2001. The next report will be released in January 2002.

Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., killing more than 400,000 Americans every year and causing more than $90 billion in health care costs. Ninety percent of smokers begin at or before age 18.

View Online Report: Campaign Contributions by Tobacco Interests

 

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