Legislated smoking bans

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

The tobacco industry has long argued that smoking bans are bad for business, and has predicted economic doom wherever they are enacted. However, some in the industry did not believe this was actually the case.

This Philip Morris (PM) document contains a quote by David Laufer, Philip Morris' director of Marketing and Sales, in 1994. Laufer says:

...the economic arguments often used by the industry to scare off smoking ban activity were no longer working, if indeed they ever did. These arguments simply had no credibility with the public, which isn't surprising when you consider our dire predictions in the past rarely came true."

PM also reveals information about the effectiveness of tobacco control efforts at the local level. As Mr. Laufer put it, "With 535 locations [pursuing smoking bans] in the state [of California in 1994], there was no way we could be in every place the antis could. " PM's answer to the onslaught of popular smoking ban efforts was to enact state level preemption, or laws at the state level that prevent localities from enacting smoking restrictions stronger than a state law. PM worked in tandem to enact state laws that mandated the provision of smoking ares. PM's multi-pronged strategy to fight local clean-indoor air efforts, according to this document, is as follows:

  • Step 1) Introduce legislation to scatter "the antis' " resources,
  • Step 2) Pursue "accommodation" laws in a few localities to divert the anti's resources,
  • Step 3) Slap a lawsuit on a large city that enacts a smoking ban so it serves as an example to leaders of other towns the "trouble" they, too, will bring upon themselves if they yield to their citizens' desires for a clean indoor air ordinance, and
  • 4) Place a Philip Morris initiative on the state ballot.

PM's reasons for fighting smoking bans are also contained in this document. Tina Walls (Vice-President of PM State Government Affairs) said in this document: "The immediate implication [of smoking bans] for our business is clear: if our consumers have fewer opportunities to enjoy our products, they will use them less frequently and the result will be an adverse impact on our bottom line."

Title CAC Presentation Numer 4 Tina Walls -- Introduction
Per. Author Tina A. Walls
Date 19940708 (July 8, 1994)
Type Press release
Bates 2041183751/3790
Collection Philip Morris
Pages 40
URL: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/vnf77e00

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