American Lung Association Calls for U.S. Chamber of Commerce to Halt Global Tobacco Lobbying
(July 8, 2015) - Chicago, IL
Following media reports that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is lobbying globally against anti-smoking laws, the American Lung Association calls for the trade association to end campaigns against public health measures to reduce tobacco use.
An investigative report by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Danny Hakim in The New York Times found that the chamber and its foreign affiliates were lobbying against tobacco control laws such as restrictions on smoking in public places, advertising restrictions, tobacco taxes and warning labels mainly in developing countries.
“We call for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to cease its campaigns in the U.S. and abroad that oppose proven measures to reduce tobacco use,” said American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer. “These public health measures are proven to be effective, and are essential to national and global health if we hope to curb the tobacco epidemic and its harms.”
Tobacco use kills almost half a million Americans and 6 million people globally each year, and impacts almost every system in the body. Using tobacco causes lung cancer, heart attacks, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and even sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Following reports on the Chamber’s activities, CVS Health recently announced its resignation from the trade group. The American Lung Association applauds this bold move.
“In a true demonstration of leadership, CVS Health has sided with global health and has taken a strong stance against tobacco use, the number-one preventable cause of death and disease,” said Wimmer.
“There is much more work to be done to end the terrible tobacco epidemic, and the American Lung Association supports steps to reduce tobacco use and promote health both in our communities and across the globe,” Wimmer said.
For media interested in speaking with an expert about lung health, tobacco use and tobacco policies, contact the American Lung Association at Media@Lung.org or 312-801-7628.