Attorneys Generals Now Tobacco
Glantz, November 22, 1998
One of the less noted but more pernicious parts of the AG deal with
the tobacco industry is that the deal puts the AGs into active partnership
with the tobacco industry. It does this in several ways:
1. The NAAG gets $50 million from the industry to enforce the deal.
2. The Education Foundation that is set up is limited to educating youth
about health effects of smoking and specifically enjoined from attacking
the industry -- the most effective message for reaching kids. The foundation
has the ability to finish the job that RWJ started: focusing public health
on ineffective youth strategies.
3. The yearly meetings between the foundation and tobacco companies
to review "educational" materials will ensure that we see lots
of things like "Helping Youth Decide" and "Helping Youth
Say No" that the Tobacco Insitute and companies have distributed.
4. The fact that any judgements against the tobacco industry on behalf
of taxpayers come out of the state's pocket will force the AG in to court
defending the tobacco industry.
5. The fact that federal tobacco tax increases will come out of the
state settlement (exactly the same deal that the industry snuck through
Congress last year that was reversed once people understood it) will get
the AG's and other state officials lobbying against federal tobacco tax
- IN SUM:
- It does not matter that the Tobacco Institute will be disbanded. The
NAAG has replaced it.