Big Tobacco Spends Top Dollar to Lobby
The tobacco industry spent an unprecedented $43 million for lobbying to kill federal tobacco control legislation in 1998, according to recent lobbying reports filed in the Congress.
In the first half on 1996, the major tobacco companies spent an additional $31 million to defeat the McCain bill, which would have raised cigarette taxes, funded an anti-tobacco campaign, and offered the industry limited protections from liability. In addition, the industry spent $40 million on a television ad campaign and contributed more than $8.2 million to candidates during the last election cycle. Brown and Williamson, the third largest cigarette maker set a record for one company, spending $24.9 million, six times the amount it spent in 1997. Philip Morris, the nations largest cigarette manufacturer, reported spending $23 million in lobbying expenditures last year. Industry critics and even seasoned Washington lobbyists were struck by the record spending.