Tobacco's dirty dollars

Published: Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 - 8:02 am

Re "Big tobacco and its money make comeback" (Dan Morain, Feb. 9): The California anti-smoking crusade exists, but without the fervor and funds to counter the powerful and greedy tobacco industry. Complacency has led to the alarming scenario described in this column.

As the column pointed out, tobacco money has killed legislation to raise the tobacco tax, an effective tool to decrease teen smoking. Shouldn't California be ashamed to be lagging behind the majority of states? The bill to ban alluring flavored e-cigarettes and Internet sales languishes. Tobacco lobbyists rarely testify at hearings, but the fate of these bills reveals their influence and money talks.

California was the tobacco control model the world. We have slipped. Let's regain our number one position with legislation that responds to public health instead of to dirty dollars.

-- Carolyn Martin, Sacramento

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