200 tobacco lobbyists have made 900 visits to the US government

200 tabakslobbyisten-1

An analysis of Action on Smoking and Health shows that there are more than 200 registered tobacco lobbyists in the United States and that they have met with officials more than 900 times to represent their interests. Eight out of ten lobbyists were civil servants.

By web editor

“There is an irreconcilable conflict between the goals of tobacco companies and the goals of public health,” said Kelsey Romeo-Stubby of the anti-smoking organization Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). presentation New research shows the tobacco industry has spent millions on lobbying. This lobby aims to block or weaken anti-smoking policy. The more successful the lobby, the fewer people will quit smoking and the more young people will try nicotine products. This has devastating consequences for public health.

For the second time, an analysis was done with ASH US Tobacco Industry Lobbyist and Lobbying Organization Registry MonitorThis system maps the tobacco industry’s lobbying activities using the public information and registration systems of all US states.

Lobbying by ex-officers

The analysis shows that in the first four months of 2023, the tobacco industry spent almost 7 million dollars (converted more than 6 million euros) on lobbying at the federal level, and 213 lobbyists were registered. Eight out of ten of them are former civil servants, potentially increasing access to influential politicians.

A total of 927 lobbying registrations have been made for the tobacco industry in various US states in 2023 (so far). This is about 856 lobbyists or lobbying firms. Altria, the parent company of Philip Morris USA alone, has 293 lobbying records. and Zool (where Altria A Billions of dollars in interest in had, which was greatly downgraded after many cases Changed March (certain licensing rights) had 95 lobbyist registrations in 39 states. Reynolds visited 49 state governments 189 times with lobbyists.

Most records in Pennsylvania

Most records found Pennsylvania (64), Florida (51), New Jersey (48), Texas (38) and Colorado (35, tied for fifth with Virginia and Ohio).

Analysis shows that in twelve US states, including California and New York If there is a meeting with an official it is sufficient to register only the lobby office (and not the name of the lobbyist). This allows the tobacco industry to remain invisible.

Preventing tobacco manufacturers from joining the conversation

ASH’s Kelsey Romeo-Stuppy argues that tobacco companies should be prevented from having a say in how they are regulated. He refers to the International Framework Convention of the World Health Organization (WHO), which has been ratified by 180 countries. America has it UN One of the few countries that signed (in 2004), but has not yet ratified. Romeo-Stubby believes that if divesting the tobacco industry isn’t possible, “we need to put a spotlight on tobacco industry representatives to make sure their ‘advice’ is ignored.”

Is the Dutch lobby curtain waterproof?

It is not known exactly how many tobacco lobbyists are knocking on the government’s door in the Netherlands. The government publishes documents, emails and reports dealing with the tobacco industry on its website. In recent years, the national government has become increasingly aware that meetings with tobacco lobbyists are not permitted under the FCTC agreement, which has been ratified by the Netherlands. are for now This year Received news only from NSO, a tobacco enthusiasts’ interest group. The last letter is dated March and A Answer For an email from NSO from a government servant. The official writes: “The subject of this letter is related to tobacco control policies. In relation to Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, governments should exercise restraint in their interactions with the tobacco industry to prevent the tobacco industry from influencing policy and regulation. Hence the Ministry did not respond further to this email.

It is unclear whether the lobby uses other informal channels to communicate with policymakers and to what extent it reaches out to local governments. In the Netherlands, too, former civil servants are switching to the tobacco industry, such as Ole Heil, a former spokesman for VVD minister Schippers at the health ministry, now a top lobbyist for Philip Morris.

Meanwhile, it is clear that some MPs are willing to listen directly or indirectly to the tobacco lobby, while the House of Representatives as a state body must adhere to the provisions of the WHO Framework Convention, including Article 5.3. In 2022, researchers at the University of Edinburgh argued that Article 5.3 itself was a Tobacco control policy action should be observed. That is why youth anti-smoking advocates have argued for some time that the article should be included in the Dutch law so that there is no confusion about its use.

Tags: Lobby | Tobacco Lobby | Tobacco Industry | Nicotine Lobby | ASH | Political | Central Govt FCTC Agreement | A lobbyist

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