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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 DurbinDick DurbinOvernight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 COVID-19 long-haulers press Congress for paid family leave Joe Manchin keeps Democrats guessing on sweeping election bill 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 BrownBiden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal How Biden can get the infrastructure bill through Congress Democrats reintroduce bill to create 'millionaires surtax' MORE (D-Ohio), Jack ReedJack ReedGillibrand: Military must make changes beyond sexual assault cases Overnight Defense: Pentagon details military construction projects getting .2B restored from wall funds | Biden chooses former commander to lead Navy | Bill seeks to boost visa program for Afghans who helped US Biden taps tech CEO, former destroyer commander to lead Navy MORE (D-R.I.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseCentrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle Lawmakers rally around cyber legislation following string of attacks Graham, Whitehouse: Global transition to renewables would help national security MORE (D-R.I.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenDemocrats, GOP face crowded primaries as party leaders lose control Gillibrand: 'I definitely want to run for president again' Maher chides Democrats: We 'suck the fun out of everything' MORE (D-Minn.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats have turned solidly against gas tax Overnight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 Democratic senators press PhRMA over COVID-19 lobbying efforts  MORE (D-Mass.) and Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyDemocrats scramble to unify before election bill brawl Schumer vows to only pass infrastructure package that is 'a strong, bold climate bill' Joe Manchin keeps Democrats guessing on sweeping election bill 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.