Robert W Ethridge

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Robert W Ethridge, generally known in tobacco circles as Bob Ethridge was a serial contractor to the Tobacco Institute in its efforts to defend the right to smoke in offices and transport vehicles. He was the president of the American Association for Affirmative Action.

In mid 1984 he put together for the Tobacco Institute a proposal addressing questions as to how they might defend workplace smoking. His idea was to claim that any restrictions of this nature disproportionately affected minorities and women, and therefore are indirectly a means of discrimination. It was a novel variation on the economist's argument (put by Professor Lewis Solmon at the same time) that cigarette taxes are 'regressive'.