Home > Tobacco Unfiltered > In North Carolina, Dancing with Big Tobacco at the Inaugural Ball

In North Carolina, Dancing with Big Tobacco at the Inaugural Ball

Reynolds American spends big bucks to buy influence

Posted by: Editor | Jan 11, 2013

photo

Big Tobacco has high hopes for North Carolina’s new governor and Legislature – they want to keep funding for tobacco prevention programs at zero and roll back the state’s three-year-old smoke-free law.

So it’s no surprise that the industry is spending big bucks and pulling out all the stops to buy influence.

As the Facing South blog revealed this week, tobacco giant Reynolds American is sponsoring the Gala Presentation and Inaugural Ball for Gov. Pat McCrory, which are being held tonight.  Altria, the nation’s largest tobacco company, is also listed as a “grand benefactor” for the festivities.

But that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Reynolds’ efforts to curry favor.

Facing South reports that Reynolds, its divisions and top executives made more than $1.4 million in political expenditures in the 2012 election cycle.  Much of the money was donated to outside groups such as the Republican Governors Association, which in turn invested heavily in helping elect Gov. McCrory and other North Carolina candidates.

It’s a textbook example of how Big Tobacco spends huge sums to buy political influence, defeat tobacco prevention measures and protect its profits.

It’s also a sad commentary on politics that an industry whose products cause so much death and disease – and that has long marketed these products to kids – continues to wield such political power.   Polls in North Carolina and across the nation show that voters strongly support tobacco prevention funding, smoke-free laws and other measures to reduce tobacco use, but elected officials beholden to Big Tobacco too often vote them down.

North Carolina’s leaders face a clear choice:  Whose side are they on?  Will they protect North Carolina’s kids and health or Big Tobacco’s profits?  Will they follow the will of the voters or give the tobacco industry what it expects in return for its campaign contributions?

It’s time for elected officials to stop dancing with Big Tobacco.

 

 

 

Join the Tobacco-Free Kids E-Newsletter

Learn More »
Outside the US? Click here. Are You Inside the US or Canada?
Close

Why Get Tobacco Unfiltered Email Alerts?

Get a heads up each time we blog news and information about the global tobacco epidemic and the movement to reduce tobacco use and its terrible toll of disease and death in the United States and around the world.

By signing up, you may also get occasional alerts about opportunities to fight Big Tobacco nationally. (See Our Privacy Policy)

Why Get Tobacco Unfiltered Email Alerts?

Get a heads up each time we blog news and information about the global tobacco epidemic and the movement to reduce tobacco use and its terrible toll of disease and death in the United States and around the world.

By signing up, you may also get occasional alerts about opportunities to fight Big Tobacco nationally. (See Our Privacy Policy)

About This Blog

We blog news and information about the global movement to reduce tobacco use and its devastating toll.

We expose the tobacco industry's deceitful practices and chronicle the work of advocates in the United States and around the globe who are battling the world’s leading cause of preventable death.

Comments? Feedback?