Tobacco Can Cure Smoking and Other New Propaganda From ALEC's Summer Conference

The rightwing American Legislative Exchange Council is 'educating' state legislators at its summer conference this week that the cure for smoking-related illnesses is more diverse tobacco products.

As noted in this report from PR Watch's Brendan Fischer and Mary Botari, ALEC is pedaling this absurdity, much to the delight of its tobacco industry sponsors.

"Can Tobacco Cure Smoking?" is the title of a workshop this morning led by the tobacco industry-backed Dr. Brad Rodu, who is trained as a dentist but has the title "Chair of Tobacco Harm Reduction Research" at the University of Louisville, a program primarily funded by U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co., an ALEC member and manufacturer of smokeless tobacco brands like Copenhagen and Skoal. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Heartland Institute, the Illinois-based think tank that attracted attention earlier this year for making billboards that likened those who believe in man-made climate change to mass murderers and terrorists.

Rodu's research supports the idea that smokers should replace cigarettes with smokeless chewing tobacco or "snus" moist tobacco packets -- a "free market" solution to reducing smoking that would allow tobacco companies to continue profiting off of addiction."

The workshop is but one at the Salt Lake conference, held in one of the city's poshest hotels. As PR Watch notes:

"Legislators will also sit alongside corporate lobbyists on ALEC's task forces to amend and vote on "model" legislation. The Commerce, Insurance, and Economic Development Task Force, for example, will discuss topics like "the resurgence of 'right to work,'" getting rid of licensing restrictions for certain professions, and eliminating federal restrictions on states charging toll fees on roads. The Communications and Information Technology Task Force will discuss "the high cost to taxpayers from municipal broadband" and the Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force "will cover the EPA's regulation of carbon dioxide" as well as consider model bills like the Animal Property Protection Act and the Intrastate Coal and Use Act. 

As CMD has reported, legislators will also attend corporate-sponsored parties and receptions, including an "invitation only" cigar reception, from 9 p.m. to midnight, hosted by one of ALEC's major tobacco firms."


AlterNet / By Steven Rosenfeld

Posted at July 26, 2012, 10:06am

Today's Top Stories