Thomas Lauria

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

Thomas Lauria

Thomas Lauria was assistant to the president of the Tobacco Institute in Washington, D.C., and an Institute spokesman circa 1991-1994 [1]

[2] He also worked for the US in the early stages of the war on Afghanistan. Today he works for the bottled water industry.

His responsibilities for the Tobacco Institute included handling media inquiries and a limited number of inquiries from the public. Lauria has been deposed in several lawsuits against the tobacco industry.[1] The Tobacco Institute was forced to disband as a term of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between 46 state attorneys general and the major American tobacco companies.

In his position at the Tobacco Institute, Lauria opposed restrictions on cigarette vending machines aimed at keeping cigarettes away from children.[3] He denied the connection between secondhand smoke and lung disease, and parental smoking and its effects on children.[4] Lauria also portrayed bans on smoking in public places as "prohibition" and claimed that cigarette advertising was "mandated under the Bill of Rights First Amendment which protects commercial speech." He denied smoking was addictive. [5]


Tom Lauria was located at the Tobacco Institute, 1876 I Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20006. The phone number was (202) 457-4800. Lauria has knowledge of the Tobacco Institute's and the tobacco industry's participation in the public disinformation regarding health hazards of tobacco use, the manipulation of nicotine in tobacco products and the marketing of tobacco products to children.

Sourcewatch resources

See the SourceWatch article: Burson-Marsteller and the National Smokers Alliance for more on his work for the tobacco industry.


  1. Thomas Lauria Statement of Thomas Lauria on behalf of The Tobacco Institute to the Monroe County Council January 7, 1991, Tobacco Institute, January 7, 1991, Bates No.TI14250017-TI14250022
  2. U.S. News and World Report, April 18, 1994
  3. Thomas Lauria, Tobacco Institute Statement of Thomas Lauria October 2, 1991, Tobacco Institute Bates No. TI14251936-TI14251939
  4. Thomas Lauria TOBACCO INSTITUTE To the Editor The News Assistant to the President To the Editor, undated letter to the editor of the Detroit News, Tobacco Institute Bates No. TI51211067
  5. VMS No Title Transcript of radio interview with Thomas Lauria of the Tobacco Institute, Michael Reagan talk show, February 22, 1990, Bates No. TIMN0341458/1475

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