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Tobacco Industry Political Activity and Tobacco Control Policy Making in Ohio: 1981-1998

  • Author(s): Monardi, Fred M., Ph.D.
  • Glantz, Stanton A., Ph.D.
  • et al.
Abstract

The tobacco industry is a major political and legal force in Ohio through campaign contributions, lobbying and litigation.

The tobacco industry has become a major source of campaign contributions to legislative candidates and political party committees. In the 1981-1982 election cycle, the tobacco industry contributed $3,970 to candidates and parties. In 1995-1996, the tobacco industry contributed $55,440 to candidates and parties.

A majority of tobacco industry contributions to legislative candidates and political are contributed to the Republican party. During the 1991-92 and 1993-1994 electoral cycles, the tobacco industry contributed 54% and 53%, respectively, of their legislative and political party contributions to the Republican party. During the 1995-1996 electoral cycle, the tobacco industry contributed 77% of their legislative and political party contributions to the Republican party.

In contrast to other states, there is not a statistically significant relationship between tobacco industry campaign contributions and legislative behavior in Ohio.

Several health related groups, such as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and United Health Care of Ohio, Association of Physician Assistants, the Ohio Health Information Management Association, and Ohio Dietetic Association are represented by lobbyists who also represent the tobacco industry. This pattern of representation raises the possibility of conflict of interests among lobbyists who represent the tobacco industry and health groups.

Franklin County in 1994 and Knox County in 1995 had formulated regulations making almost all or all public places smokefree. These regulations were rejected in Ohio courts. Since these defeats, there has been no progress (except voluntarily) on smokefree public places.

Tobacco control advocates and organizations have effectively organized in preventing preemptive youth access legislation from passing in the Ohio state legislature.

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