The tobacco industry uses lobbyists, lawyers, and disinformation campaigns to try to weaken tobacco laws.
On the state level, tobacco industry lobbyists have prowled the State House for decades, working to prevent tobacco control legislation--and when that fails, to weaken our laws. They fund trade associations and local organizations to speak on their behalf, spreading misinformation and stoking fear.
Tobacco companies also use sponsorships, donations, ads, and paid media to spread their propaganda and to attempt to polish their image. Sponsorships and donations allow tobacco companies to earn good media for doing something positive for a community--even when the amount of money they give is small in comparison to the amount they spend publicizing the gift.
Advertisements and paid media (including sponsored content) give the companies the chance to spread their messages without the burden of fact. Sponsored content is a particularly problematic type of paid media because it appears to be journalism but is really just purely tobacco industry messaging.
Local officials are also familiar with tobacco industry representatives showing up at local meetings, testifying against public health measures and threatening lawsuits.
These efforts to undermine strong policies governing tobacco are nothing new in Massachusetts, but they are growing more subtle and sophisticated. We anticipate spending more time fighting these efforts in the coming years.