Tobacco Company CEOs Cash In While States Cut Back on Prevention
Key industry chiefs are paid more than 47 states and DC are spending on prevention
Posted by: Editor | Apr 12, 2012
Pay packages for chief executives at the top three U.S. tobacco companies last year exceeded the amount of money being spent on tobacco prevention programs in all but three states.
New compensation disclosures made to the Securities and Exchange Commission and reported by the Associated Press show that just three men — Lorillard Inc. CEO Murray Kessler, Altria Group CEO Michael E. Szymanczyk and Reynolds American chief Daniel M. Delen — together pulled in $31.9 million in 2011.
That’s more than every state except New York, Florida and California budgeted in fiscal year 2012 to keep kids from smoking and help smokers quit.
No matter how you parse the numbers, this mismatch is frighteningly clear:
- Lorillard’s Kessler, who received compensation of $13 million in 2011, was paid more than what 42 states and DC allocated to tobacco prevention programs.
- Szymanczyk — whose pay at Altria was $10.2 million, about half of what he made in 2011 — made more than the amounts 40 states and DC are spending to prevent smoking.
- Delen’s $8.5 million paycheck was greater than prevention spending in 35 states and DC.
It’s a sad case of misplaced priorities when Big Tobacco’s bigwigs make more to sell deadly tobacco products than most states spend to protect the health of our kids.
See how your state stacks up against Big Tobacco’s big paychecks
State tobacco prevention spending versus Big Tobacco CEO Pay
|State||FY12 State Spending ($millions)|
|District of Columbia||$0.0|
|Rhode Island||$0.4 million|
|New Jersey||$1.2 million|
|South Dakota||$4.0 million|
|South Carolina||$5.0 million|
|West Virginia||$5.7 million|
|New Mexico||$5.9 million|
|North Dakota||$8.1 million|
|Daniel Delen, Reynolds American||$8.5 million|
|Michael Syzmanczyk, Altria||$10.2 million|
|Murray Kessler, Lorillard, Inc.||$13.0 million|
|North Carolina||$17.3 million|
|New York||$41.4 million|