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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 DurbinPartisan headwinds threaten Capitol riot commission Murkowski undecided on Tanden as nomination in limbo Democrats ask FBI for plans to address domestic extremism following Capitol attack 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 shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues Democrats: Minimum wage isn't the only issue facing parliamentarian Menendez reintroduces corporate diversity bill MORE (D-Ohio), Jack ReedJack ReedCORRECTED: Overnight Defense: COVID-19 stymies effort to study sexual assault at military academies | Biden, Saudi king speak ahead of Khashoggi report Overnight Defense: New Senate Armed Services chairman talks Pentagon policy nominee, Afghanistan, more | Biden reads report on Khashoggi killing | Austin stresses vaccine safety in new video Senate Armed Services chair expects 'some extension' of troops in Afghanistan MORE (D-R.I.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseBiden nominee previews post-Trump trade agenda Tucker Carlson bashes CNN, claims it's 'more destructive' than QAnon Garland seeks to draw sharp contrast with Trump-era DOJ MORE (D-R.I.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenHarrison seen as front-runner to take over DNC at crucial moment The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans The Hill's Morning Report - Fearing defeat, Trump claims 'illegal' ballots MORE (D-Minn.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenExclusive: How Obama went to bat for Warren Minimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibuster Democratic strategists start women-run media consulting firm MORE (D-Mass.) and Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyProgressives fume over Senate setbacks Ex-Capitol Police chief did not get FBI report warning of violence on Jan. 6 Democrats want businesses to help get LGBT bill across finish line 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.