An army of tobacco industry lobbyists been hard at work in Texas battling a clean indoor air law and a new formula for taxing spit tobacco. The industry employed 40 lobbyists, seven of whom are former state legislators, to beat back the popular proposals. The smoking ban had gained hard-won support from the state's restaurant association, and enjoyed support among voters, who had already approved public smoking laws in 28 cities within the state.
Since international tobacco companies have also owned alcoholic beverage companies, tobacco documents yield information about the inner workings of the liquor industry. Researchers studying tobacco documents have found that liquor companies are terrified of going down the same route as the tobacco industry.
A meta-study published in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics concludes that viewing movie smoking scenes is a significant factor in smoking among older teens and young adults. In 1999, researchers interviewed thousands of 10- to 14-year-olds, assessing their smoking status and exposure to images of smoking, via movies.
The best-kept secret in the halls of Congress -- until today -- may have been the extent to which New York's new senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, helped cigarette maker Philip Morris during her former employment as an attorney with the global law firm Davis, Polk & Wardwell. Information about her relationship with the cigarette maker wasn't included in her official biography or her campaign materials, but on Friday, March 27, 2009, the New York Times published an article describing in detail how Gillibrand, under her maiden name Kirsten Rutnik, was involved at high levels in the legal affairs of Philip Morris.
In 1998, as an attorney at Davis Polk, Gillibrand served on Philip Morris' Privilege and Crime Fraud Committee, an elite group of attorneys from both inside and outside Philip Morris. Some of Gillibrand's colleagues on the Committee were full partners in their respective law firms, which reveals the respect she earned in her service to the company.
Cigarette makers are taking advantage of the upcoming 62-cent increase in the U.S. federal excise tax on cigarettes to raise prices.