Government Affairs Objectives

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Government Affairs Objectives

This 1996 Philip Morris Corporate Affairs (PM) document discusses strategies the cigarette company uses to stop local public health activity and control state legislatures on tobacco issues.

According to the document, PM employs a comprehensive strategy to fight the "antis" (public health advocates and authorities) in states that have a high amount of local tobacco control activity. In the legislatures, PM's strategy is to "Put antis on the Defensive" by introducing multiple bills (like bills to require Indoor Air Quality Standards, and "restaurant bills" introduced by local restaurant associations). At the local level, PM "introduces Accommodation in friendly, small localities" to "scatter the antis resources" (referring to PM's Accommodation Program, designed to stave off smoking bans). PM also tracks the funding and expenditures of tobacco control programs and then attacks these expenditures, framing them as "abuses." Simultaneously PM works to divert the financial resources of tobacco control programs, or, as PM says, "Reallocate [tobacco control] funds for other purposes Such as Youth Education."

PM seeks to hobble charitable health organizations by pushing for laws capping their salaries and lobbying expenditures and requiring a minimum percentage of their funds go toward research [Page 60].

The report also shows PM's interference in local activities around a smoking ban effort in Austin, Texas. PM's strategy in Austin was to "create a coalition to Kill Ordinance in One Week," and "activate PM and RJR smokers to call city council members prior to the hearing and testify at the hearing." PM also "hired a consultant to organize the Hospitality Industry." The consultant "convinced Austin Restaurant Association to oppose the ordinance and join the Texas Restaurant Association's activities."

The document also makes it clear that legislative term limits do not benefit Philip Morris because they result in "Less power for lobbyists who, pre term limits, could develop contacts and groom [legislative] members attitudes toward our issues." It also reveals that PM would not support (now former) Vermont Governor Dr. Howard Dean, currently a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination for president in the U.S. [Page 21]. PM opposed Gov. Dean because he supported a $.24 tax increase in cigarettes and he did "not support our position on modified smoking restrictions." pg. 22

Date 19960400/E
Bates 2047724405/4489
Collection Philip Morris
Pages 85