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Rocky Mountain Environmental Health Association

Members' Notes, August 2019

Directory to sections on this page -

Tobacco, Vaping, and Lobbying

The recent reports of lung problems in many young people, attributed to vaping or electronic or e-cigarettes usage, brings attention again to the pervasive problems that tobacco and its nicotine drug cause our society.

The federal government estimates some 480,000 nicotine addicts die prematurely every year from the various uses of tobacco. But a recent, more detailed, study reports the actual number is probably more like 560,000 premature deaths. The annual costs of medical care caused by tobacco use are estimated to be some $170 million. There are some 156 million dollars worth of lost productivity every year caused by tobacco use.

Today, the problem is that nearly one out of every six American adults still smoke, nearly one out of five Americans who smoke have a disability, and at least 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related illness. Tobacco products are probably killing closer to 556,000 Americans each year.


The government estimates that some 41,000 nonsmokers die every year from secondhand smoke exposure. Tragically, our public social and health policies have ignored the fact that this horrendous death toll from secondhand tobacco smoke is equivalent of terrorists shooting down a loaded passenger plane every day for the entire year!

Healthy Living

Recent studies on healthy living which looked at data for more than 120,000 participants, and for some 30 years of data on diet, physical activity, body weight, smoking, and alcohol consumption, set "Healthy Smoking" as never having smoked.


We need to keep in mind that tobacco - per the U.S. Surgeon General's office - is as physically and mentally addictive as heroin or cocaine. There is no excuse in continuing to allow anyone's drug addiction to justify causing direct and immediate harm to innocent bystanders.

One problem is that the tobacco industry - effectively a 100 billion dollar international drug cartel - has spent enormous amounts of money on lobbying for laws and regulations that support them.

There are some currently some 257 lobbyists in Washington who spent some 23 million dollars in 2018 for influencing legislators and regulations.

What did the tobacco industry achieve with all the lobbying money. It turns out that many of our federal public health laws have been crippled. Many of these public health laws have some variation of "This statute does not apply to tobacco products" clause at the beginning of the law. Here are excerpts from some examples -


"nor to substances intended for use as  fuels  when  stored in
containers and used in  the heating, cooking, or  refrigeration system
of  a house, nor to  tobacco and tobacco products, but such term shall
apply to any
article which  is  not  itself  a  pesticide  within  the  meaning  of
the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act but which is a
hazardous substance within the meaning of subparagraph 1 of this
paragraph by reason of bearing or containing such a pesticide..."

Consumer Product Safety Act

"The  term  consumer  product means any  article,  or  component
part thereof, produced  or  distributed

(i)  for sale  to  a  consumer  for  use  in  or  around  a  permanent
or temporary household or residence, a school, in recreation, or
otherwise, or

(ii) for the  personal  use,  consumption  or  enjoyment  of  a
consumer  in or around a permanent or temporary household or residence,
a school, in recreation, or otherwise; but such term does not include—
(A) any article which is not customarily produced or distributed for
sale to, or use or consumption by, or enjoyment of, a consumer,

(B) tobacco and tobacco products,

(C)  motor  vehicles  or  motor  vehicle  equipment  (as  defined  by
sections 102(3)  and  (4)  of  the  National  Traffic  and  Motor
Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 , sections 30102(a)(6) and (7) of Title

Controlled Substances Act

"(6)  The  term  "controlled  substance"  means  a  drug  or  other
sub- stance,  or  immediate  precursor,  included  in  schedule  I,  II,
III,  IV, or  V  of  part  B  of  this title.

The term  does not include distilled  spirits, wine, malt  beverages, or
tobacco, as those terms  are  defined  or  used  in subtitle  E... "

Congresspeople Contributions

Here are the reported contributions to federal legislators in 2018 from the tobacco industry. Of course, a contribution is not proof that that legislator was influenced, but those legislators must acknowledge that they have a public record of saying that tobacco, which is acknowledged as killing some 110 nonsmokers a day, is OK with them. That sets a strong example for an easily influenced public.

Sorted by State

                                  ¤¤ D = Democratic
¤¤ H = House                  ¤¤ R = Republican
¤¤ S = Senate                 ¤ ¤¤ State
¤   ¤¤ Name                   ¤ ¤       ¤¤ Lobbying $
¤   ¤                         ¤ ¤       ¤
H  Aderholt, Robert B        (R-AL)    $2,500
H  Byrne, Bradley            (R-AL)    $2,500
H  Palmer, Gary              (R-AL)    $2,500
H  Roby, Martha              (R-AL)    $1,500
S  Cotton, Tom               (R-AR)    $1,000
S  McSally, Martha           (R-AZ)    $7,500
S  Sinema, Kyrsten           (D-AZ)    $  500
H  Lesko, Debbie             (R-AZ)    $1,000
H  O'Halleran, Tom           (D-AZ)    $  750
S  Harris, Kamala            (D-CA)   $11,050
H  Cardenas, Tony            (D-CA)    $1,000
H  Correa, Lou               (D-CA)    $1,000
H  Gomez, Jimmy              (D-CA)    $1,000
H  McCarthy, Kevin           (R-CA)   $28,300
H  Peters, Scott             (D-CA)    $1,500
S  Gardner, Cory             (R-CO)    $6,000
S  Rubio, Marco              (R-FL)    $3,500
H  Buchanan, Vernon          (R-FL)    $1,500
H  Castor, Kathy             (D-FL)    $2,436
H  Crist, Charlie            (D-FL)    $1,000
H  Diaz-Balart, Mario        (R-FL)    $5,000
H  Murphy, Stephanie         (D-FL)    $1,500
H  Posey, Bill               (R-FL)    $1,255
S  Isakson, Johnny           (R-GA)    $2,500
S  Perdue, David             (R-GA)   $14,700
H  Bishop, Sanford           (D-GA)    $5,000
H  Collins, Doug             (R-GA)    $1,000
H  Ferguson, Drew            (R-GA)    $1,000
H  Graves, Tom               (R-GA)    $3,000
H  Bustos, Cheri             (D-IL)    $2,500
H  Krishnamoorthi, Raja      (D-IL)    $1,000
H  Schneider, Brad           (D-IL)    $2,500
H  Walorski, Jackie          (R-IN)    $6,100
H  Watkins, Steve            (R-KS)    $1,184
S  McConnell, Mitch          (R-KY)   $10,100
H  Barr, Andy                (R-KY)    $4,500
H  Comer, James              (R-KY)    $2,500
H  Rogers, Hal               (R-KY)    $1,204
S  Cassidy, Bill             (R-LA)    $2,500
H  Richmond, Cedric          (D-LA)    $5,500
H  Scalise, Steve            (R-LA)   $13,205
H  Clark, Katherine          (D-MA)    $2,800
H  Neal, Richard E           (D-MA)    $3,000
H  Cummings, Elijah E        (D-MD)    $1,500
H  Harris, Andy              (R-MD)    $2,705
H  Hoyer, Steny H            (D-MD)   $10,750
S  Peters, Gary              (D-MI)    $1,666
H  Dingell, Debbie           (D-MI)    $1,500
H  Moolenaar, John           (R-MI)    $3,750
H  Walberg, Tim              (R-MI)    $5,600
H  Peterson, Collin          (D-MN)    $1,500
H  Cleaver, Emanuel          (D-MO)    $1,000
H  Long, Billy               (R-MO)    $1,000
H  Smith, Jason              (R-MO)    $5,000
H  Wagner, Ann L             (R-MO)    $3,500
S  Hyde-Smith, Cindy         (R-MS)    $2,500
H  Palazzo, Steven           (R-MS)    $3,000
H  Thompson, Bennie G        (D-MS)    $3,000
S  Daines, Steven            (R-MT)    $5,300
H  Gianforte, Greg           (R-MT)    $1,000
S  Tillis, Thom              (R-NC)   $25,450
H  Butterfield, G K          (D-NC)    $2,000
H  Holding, George           (R-NC)    $6,349
H  Hudson, Richard           (R-NC)   $13,100
H  McHenry, Patrick          (R-NC)    $2,500
H  Meadows, Mark R           (R-NC)    $4,500
H  Rouzer, David             (R-NC)    $6,000
H  Walker, Mark              (R-NC)    $1,000
H  Armstrong, Kelly          (R-ND)    $4,180
H  Fortenberry, Jeff         (R-NE)    $3,500
S  Shaheen, Jeanne           (D-NH)    $6,380
S  Booker, Cory              (D-NJ)    $  400
H  Gottheimer, Josh          (D-NJ)    $  750
H  Pascrell, Bill Jr         (D-NJ)    $1,000
H  Small, Xochitl Torres     (D-NM)    $  250
H  Amodei, Mark              (R-NV)    $2,500
H  Horsford, Steven          (D-NV)    $5,000
S  Gillibrand, Kirsten       (D-NY)    $2,800
H  Brindisi, Anthony         (D-NY)    $  250
H  Maloney, Sean Patrick     (D-NY)    $1,000
H  Stefanik, Elise           (R-NY)    $8,100
H  Chabot, Steve             (R-OH)    $1,000
H  Johnson, Bill             (R-OH)    $3,500
H  Joyce, David P            (R-OH)    $5,600
H  Cole, Tom                 (R-OK)    $3,000
H  Hern, Kevin               (R-OK)    $  201
H  Walden, Greg              (R-OR)    $1,000
H  Boyle, Brendan            (D-PA)    $7,500
H  Kelly, Mike               (R-PA)    $  250
S  Graham, Lindsey           (R-SC)   $17,600
H  Clyburn, James E          (D-SC)   $10,500
H  Rice, Tom                 (R-SC)    $4,500
H  Timmons, William          (R-SC)    $  500
S  Rounds, Mike              (R-SD)    $2,500
H  Fleischmann, Chuck        (R-TN)    $1,000
H  Rose, John                (R-TN)    $1,500
S  Cornyn, John              (R-TX)    $5,000
H  Arrington, Jodey          (R-TX)    $  500
H  Brady, Kevin              (R-TX)    $5,000
H  Crenshaw, Dan             (R-TX)    $6,100
H  Cuellar, Henry            (D-TX)    $5,000
H  Flores, Bill              (R-TX)    $5,000
H  Granger, Kay              (R-TX)    $5,000
H  Jackson Lee, Sheila       (D-TX)    $2,500
H  Marchant, Kenny           (R-TX)    $1,000
H  Olson, Pete               (R-TX)    $1,000
H  Taylor, Van               (R-TX)    $  585
H  Vela, Filemon             (D-TX)    $2,500
H  McAdams, Ben              (D-UT)    $  250
S  Kaine, Tim                (D-VA)    $  500
S  Warner, Mark              (D-VA)    $3,200
H  Cline, Ben                (R-VA)    $1,000
H  Connolly, Gerry           (D-VA)    $  268
H  Griffith, Morgan          (R-VA)    $5,000
H  McEachin, Donald          (D-VA)    $5,000
H  Riggleman, Denver         (R-VA)    $2,000
H  Spanberger, Abigail       (D-VA)    $4,050
H  Wittman, Rob              (R-VA     $2,500
H  Newhouse, Dan             (R-WA)    $  250
H  Rodgers, Cathy McMorris   (R-WA)    $5,600
S  Capito, Shelley Moore     (R-WV)    $2,500
H  McKinley, David           (R-WV)    $2,500
H  Cheney, Liz               (R-WY)    $5,500

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Revised '9-Sep-2019,12:45:48'