Tobacco Industry Gave More Than $3… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Tobacco Industry Gave More Than $3 Million in Political Contributions in First Year of 2001-2002 Election Cycle

Quarterly Report Continues to Confirm Correlation between Tobacco Money and Pro-Industry Legislation
January 29, 2002

Washington, DC — The tobacco industry contributed more than $3 million in soft money and political action committee (PAC) contributions to federal candidates, political parties and political committees from January 1, 2001, to January 1, 2002, 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 continue to correlate with lawmakers 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:

  • Soft money and PAC contributions to federal candidates, political parties and political committees totaled $3,033,695 in 2001.

  • Tobacco companies, along with tobacco company executives and employees, donated more than $1.9 million in soft money to the Democratic and Republican parties in 2001. More than 40 percent of these soft money donations came from Philip Morris.

  • Tobacco company PACs donated $721,624 directly to federal candidates, with 75 percent ($544,074) of the total donations going to Republican candidates.

  • Tobacco PACs have donated more than $375,000 to non-candidate committees, including Democratic and Republican party committees and leadership PACs established by individual members of Congress.

The tobacco industry has contributed more than $19 million since 1997, including more than $12.5 million in soft money and nearly $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 companies are continuing their decades-long effort to use political muscle to avoid effective public policies that protect the public health,' 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 election cycle, despite the fact that thousands of kids start smoking every day and 400,000 Americans die every year from tobacco use.'

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 17 House members who are sponsoring the Philip Morris-backed bill, H.R 2180, have received, on average, more than 15 times as much money from the tobacco industry as the 110 sponsors of a public health community-supported FDA bill, H.R.1097 ($12,651 vs. $812).

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, 2001 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 January 1, 2002. The next report will be released in April 2002.

Tobacco use 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 more information on tobacco industry political contributions.