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

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

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 DurbinSenate Democrats push Trump to permanently shutter migrant detention facility House panel investigating decision to resume federal executions To combat domestic terrorism, Congress must equip law enforcement to fight rise in white supremacist attacks 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

The letter, signed by Sens. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBank watchdogs approve rule to loosen ban on risky Wall Street trades Dayton mayor assigned extra security following verbal spat with Trump The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape MORE (D-Ohio), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill What the gun safety debate says about Washington Senators ask for committee vote on 'red flag' bills after shootings MORE (D-R.I.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate Democrats push Trump to permanently shutter migrant detention facility To cash in on innovation, remove market barriers for advanced energy technologies Democrats give cold shoulder to Warren wealth tax MORE (D-R.I.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenFormer GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Native American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment Reid says he wishes Franken would run for Senate again MORE (D-Minn.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump preps conspiracy theory to explain faltering economy Sanders, Warren back major shift to fight drug overdoses Rendell: Biden 'baked in' as Democratic nominee MORE (D-Mass.) and Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyDemocratic senator and top Trump immigration official argue over asylum claims on Twitter Senate Democrats push Trump to permanently shutter migrant detention facility Senate Dem seeks answers from DHS on reports of pregnant asylum seekers sent back to Mexico 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.