Senate Dems to US Chamber: Stop lobbying against anti-smoking regs

Senate Dems to US Chamber: Stop lobbying against anti-smoking regs
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Senate Democrats want the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to stop lobbying against anti-smoking regulations.

In a letter to Chamber President Tom Donahue led by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSunday Talk Shows: Lawmakers look ahead to House vote on articles of impeachment, Senate trial Lawmakers introduce bill taxing e-cigarettes to pay for anti-vaping campaigns Senators zero in on shadowy court at center of IG report MORE (D-Ill.), lawmakers said the Chamber’s actions to undermine public-health measures directed at reducing death and disease caused by tobacco products pose a serious threat to people around the world.

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The letter, signed by Sens. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSunday Talk Shows: Lawmakers look ahead to House vote on articles of impeachment, Senate trial Sherrod Brown backs new North American trade deal: 'This will be the first trade agreement I've ever voted for' Trump trade deal likely to sow division in Democratic presidential field MORE (D-Ohio), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedGabbard calls for congressional inquiry over Afghanistan war report Gillibrand demands hearing following release of 'Afghanistan Papers' Republicans raise concerns over Trump pardoning service members MORE (D-R.I.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocrats rip Barr over IG statement: 'Mouthpiece' for Trump Trump brings pardoned soldiers on stage at Florida fundraiser: report Overnight Energy: Pelosi vows bold action to counter 'existential' climate threat | Trump jokes new light bulbs don't make him look as good | 'Forever chemicals' measure pulled from defense bill MORE (D-R.I.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenLankford to be named next Senate Ethics chairman The job no GOP senator wants: 'I'd rather have a root canal' Take Trump literally and seriously in Minnesota MORE (D-Minn.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump executive order aimed at combating anti-Semitism stirs up controversy Booker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications Democrats threaten to skip next debate over labor dispute MORE (D-Mass.) and Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyMcConnell says he's 'honored' to be WholeFoods Magazine's 2019 'Person of the Year' Overnight Energy: Protesters plan Black Friday climate strike | 'Father of EPA' dies | Democrats push EPA to abandon methane rollback Warren bill would revoke Medals of Honor for Wounded Knee massacre MORE (D-Ore.), comes after The New York Times reported that the chamber is lobbying alongside foreign affiliates to fight antismoking laws and advance the interests of the tobacco industry.

The news of the chamber’s campaign against antismoking laws has reportedly pushed the CVS Health Corporations to resign from the chamber, according to the Times.

“For the Chamber to use its international clout to fight so ardently against regulations of dangerous tobacco products is contrary to United States foreign policy and global health goals,” the Senators’ letter said. “As CVS Health has shown, protecting public health is good business, and the Chamber’s actions are antithetical to good corporate citizenship.”

In a brief statement to the Times, the Chamber said it regularly reaches out to governments around the world to urge them to avoid measures that discriminate against particular companies or industries, undermine their trademarks or brands or destroy their intellectual property.

The Chamber did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the letter it received from Senate Democrats on Wednesday.

In response to earlier reports that the Chamber is lobbying for big tobacco, the group denied working to promote tobacco use.

"Let’s be very clear: This organization is not in the business of promoting cigarette smoking at home or abroad, period," a Chamber representative said.