Syn-tacticalI just saw the KSTP interview for the first time today, thanks to Sandy. I enjoyed the interviewer's quote which said "....the American Lung Association here says no pharmaceutical monies were used to fight the the smoking ban...." (note that American Lung doesn't deny accepting pharmaceutical money).
So rest assured the multi-million dollar grants provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical founder Robert Wood Johnson) were not used to lobby for smoking bans in our state, they used money from a different source...yeah right.
The non-profits try to distance themselves from their symbiotic relationship with the pharmaceutical companies Nicotrol, Nicoderm, etc. But the facts speak differently:
More Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Nicotrol, Nicoderm, Nicoderm CQ) funding to non-profit organizations: (partial list)
2001 MN. Smoke-free coalition $824,977
2001 University of MN. $401,182
2001 American Non-Smokers Rights Foundation $971,114
2001 American Cancer Society $14,673,657
2002 American Cancer Society $3,294,002
2002 American Medical Association $2,034,859
2002 American Medical Association Foundation $7,750,288
2002 American Lung Association $2,923,061
Conflict of interest?........of course. The question is, are lawmakers unwitting participants in this scandal? Full list of grant recipients 1996-2002, figures for 2003 & 2004 not yet available.
The integrity, ideology and lobbying interests of the non-profit organizations were bought by pharmaceutical companies with the very first multi-million dollar grants by RWJF. To claim those monies weren't used to lobby in favor of smoking bans, insults the intelligence of the general public.
In the interview you saw a very brief snippet of my dialogue, and it's true the publics' perception is that these non-profits are benevolent organizations which only provide good to our community. However, in reality they are not immune to partisan politicking for the business interests of the pharmaceutical giants at the demise of the hospitality industry; if the price is right.
Our message to local government leaders is that we will continue to publicly expose the non-profits and their connection to large pharmaceutical nicotine manufacturers, and the public politicians who buy into (or are bought into) the big lie, for whatever reason. (we'll pay close attention to the next round of campaign contributions you can be sure)
If you want to talk about health and secondhand smoke, the 2004 St. Louis Park Health Dept. tests vs OSHA permissible exposure limits is the true un-tainted source.