3003.0: Monday, November 13, 2000 - 1:42 PM

Abstract #5539

Tobacco industry political influence and tobacco control policymaking in New York State

Joanna V. Dearlove, BA and Stanton A. Glantz, PhD. Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, 3333 California Street, Suite 265, Box 0936, Laurel Heights, San Francisco, CA 94143-0936, (415) 476-3601, dearlove@medicine.ucsf.edu

Between 1989 and 1994, New York State passed a tobacco tax increase or legislation almost every year. These advances ceased in 1995, when Republican George Pataki became Governor. Pataki crippled the State's tobacco control program, and supported legislation which would have reversed or impeded progress in tobacco control. It was not until information from tobacco industry documents revealed unethical financial ties between the industry and many lawmakers - including Pataki - that the Legislature and Governor agreed to pass a tobacco tax increase and increased funding for the State tobacco control program.

As with many other states, the proliferation of local tobacco control laws in New York has been more effective in furthering tobacco control than the passage of state laws. The local battles in New York illustrate the wide arsenal of strategies the tobacco industry uses to defeat tobacco control policy. The industry has challenged Board of Health ordinances, supported weak "Accommodation" legislation and organized and financially supported "hospitality" or restaurant coalitions to represent industry interests. Local coalitions have been remarkably successful in passing significant tobacco control policies in the face of such powerful opposition.

Despite the lack of vehicles for direct democracy (i.e., initiatives, referendums) in New York, health advocates harnessed public opinion effectively to pass meaningful tobacco control legislation at both the state and local level. Their success has also been due to their rejection of counterproductive compromises, such as preemptive state legislation, and the willingness to challenge politicians both hostile and supportive of tobacco control.

Learning Objectives: Recognize the various strategies the tobacco industry has used in New York State, at the state and local level, and identify the tactics used by New York health advocates to counter these strategies and successfully pass tobacco control policies

Keywords: Tobacco Policy, Tobacco Industry

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Philip Morris, The Tobacco Institute
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA