Signs of life regarding last week’s New York Time’s expose of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s role as the leading advocate around the globe to prevent governments from taking steps to control and reduce their citizens’ use of tobacco products:
- Strong New York Times editorial, “Tarred by Tobacco:”
- “Now that it is clear what kind of pro-tobacco advocacy the chamber is carrying out, the organization’s members, particularly in the health care industry, ought to speak out. Do they want their names associated with such a blatant attempt to stop governments in developing countries from enacting sensible public health policies?”
- Strong Washington Post editorial:
- “A chamber spokesman told us that the organization “is not an advocate for cigarette smoking and we know that smoking carries obvious health risks” but that the group is opposing encroachment on business rights. Does a health warning on a pack encroach on intellectual property of a cigarette company? We doubt it.”
- Joint statement by U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown, Richard Blumenthal, Dick Durbin, Jeff Merkley, Al Franken, Elizabeth Warren, and Sheldon Whitehouse:
- “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s decision to use its international clout to fight regulations of tobacco products around the world is craven and unconscionable. Commerce member companies should be concerned that their good name is sullied in efforts to strike down public health protections worldwide. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is, in effect, renting its letterhead and name to big tobacco, contrary to responsible corporate interests and Americans’ interests in improving global public health. We urge the chamber to rethink this strategy and instead find partners to help improve global public health, not strengthen efforts that will worsen the health of millions globally and cause innumerable deaths from tobacco usage.”
- The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids has started a Facebook Petition to tell the Chamber to cut it out. Add your name please!