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June, 2005:

Tobacco Smoke Identified as Toxic Air Contaminant

State of California – technical report citing Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air Contaminant

Proposed Identification of Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air Contaminant

Download the full report on the Proposed Identification of Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air Contaminant here.

This report, prepared by the staff of the Air Resources Board (ARB), contains an evaluation of exposures to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in California. This report is referred to as Part A, “Proposed Identification of Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air Contaminant.” The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has developed a comprehensive health evaluation on exposures to environmental tobacco smoke, referred to as Part B. Together, these evaluations serve as the basis for ARB’s proposal to identify ETS by regulation as a toxic air contaminant (TAC).

Under the provisions of Assembly Bill 1807 (Health and Safety Code sections 39650-39662), the ARB is mandated to administer California’s TAC Program. The ARB’s exposure assessment is based, to the extent available, upon research and monitoring data, emissions inventory data, and information on exposures from data on ambient and indoor air environments, as well as, an assessment of children’s exposures (Health and Safety Code Sections 39650 et seq.). The Health and Safety Code, section 39655, also requires that each candidate TAC must meet the definition of a TAC, defined as “an air pollutant which may cause or contribute to an increase in mortality or in serious illness, or which may pose a present or potential hazard to human health.”

ETS entered the identification program in June 2001. Some of the information in this report is based upon data presented in the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s (OEHHA) 1997 report: “Health Effects of Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke” (OEHHA, 1997). Specifically, Chapter 2 (Exposure Measurement and Prevalence) of the OEHHA report was updated to include ETS exposure information developed subsequent to the data presented in the report (after 1995). The National Cancer Institute (NCI), acting for the U.S. Public Health Service, recognized the importance of the 1997 OEHHA report and incorporated it as part of their Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph series (NCI, 1999).

This is the revised Scientific Review Panel (SRP) version of the report which includes the Executive Summary, Part A (exposure assessment), Part B (health effects), and Part C (responses to public comments) documents. This version of the report, along with the comments received on the public review version, will be considered by the SRP on Toxic Air Contaminants at a noticed public meeting.

The ARB’s consideration of ETS as a TAC will occur following review by the SRP. If the SRP approves the report, it will be presented to the ARB at a duly noticed public hearing, after a 45-day public comment period. If the ARB approves the report at a hearing and identifies ETS as a TAC, the information contained in the report will be used in the assessment of the need for control measures. Any consideration of control measures to reduce exposures to ETS, if identified as a TAC, will follow a separate rulemaking process, which allows for a thorough public process including workshops, and a public hearing.

Big Tobacco Gets a Little Help from Their Friends

The Democratic Party – JUNE 9, 2005

JUNE 9, 2005

The government is approaching the end of a six year case charging that big tobacco companies, including Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co, and British American Tobacco, conspired to deceive the public about the health risks of smoking. In a shocking development, DOJ lawyers abandoned the recommendations provided in testimony by key government witnesses and requested a fraction of the amount suggested as an appropriate financial penalty for these companies. Even the judge in the case was confused, stating that “There may be some additional influences being brought to bear on the governmen’s decision” Associate Attorney General Robert McCallum, who oversees the lawyers trying this case, said he would not comment on why DOJ changed its position. But with $9 million in donations to the GOP over the past four years, and with no fewer than four members of the DOJ leadership with strong ties to the tobacco industry, does he really need to say a word?

TOBACCO’S TIES TO
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE RUN DEEP…

ROBERT MCCALLUM, ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY GENERAL

McCallum, Who Oversees Civil Division, Has Strong Ties to Tobacco. The Los Angeles Times reported that: “Before his appointment in the Justice Department in 2001, McCallum had been a partner at Alston & Bird, an Atlanta-based firm that has done trademark and patent work for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco. In 2002, McCallum signed a friend-of-the-court brief by the administration urging the Supreme Court not to consider an appeal by the government of Canada to reinstate a cigarette smuggling case against R.J. Reynolds that had been dismissed.” [Los Angeles Times, 6/8/05]

THEODORE ULLYOT, CHIEF OF STAFF AT DOJ

Ullyot Was A Partner At Kirkland & Ellis, “Top Corporate Law Firm” For Big Tobacco. Ullyot was a partner of former Whitewater counsel Kenneth Starr at the Kirkland & Ellis law firm and also was a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. In 2002, Kirkland & Ellis was listed as the top corporate law firm for fighting class action lawsuits because of its decades of work defending tobacco company Brown & Williamson. [AP, 2/14/05; Fullerton County Daily Report, 4/27/05; Corporate Board Member, 7/1/02]

RAUL YANES, CHIEF COUNSEL TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Yanes Represented Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds In Tobacco Lawsuits. Yanes was a partner at the New York law firm Davis, Polk and Wardwell, where his clients included Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds in tobacco lawsuits and the Arthur Andersen accounting firm. [AP 2/14/05]

RALPH BOYD, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL

Boyd Has Advised The Tobacco Industry. Boyd, the assistant attorney general overseeing civil rights, has advised the tobacco and gun industries as lawyer with the Boston firm Goodwin Procter. [Richmond Times Dispatch, 4/1/01;Washington Post, 3/7/01]

  • Boyd: Gun Companies Can Learn From Tobacco Industry. Ralph Boyd said the gun companies could learn from tobacco litigation. “The plaintiffs don’t have to win all of these cases, they just have to file enough of them and you can count on an aberrant decision by a judge somewhere letting a case go to trial,” Mr. Boyd said. “That creates enormous risk for the industry.” “These suits,” he added, “are far more political than legal. They are a multifront attack through a public forum, and if you don’t rebut them politically you can find yourself losing entirely. And that in turn affects judges who are sensitive to political currents.” [New York Times, 12/24/98]

……AND THEIR REACH EXTENDS ACROSS THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION

KARL ROVE, ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF

Bush Advisor Karl Rove Moonlighted for Phillip Morris While State Sued Tobacco Industry. Karl Rove, while he was an advisor to then-Governor Bush, was questioned in 1997 about his ties to tobacco giant Phillip Morris, which paid Rove $3,000 per month for his advice on Texas politics and which candidates should receive tobacco money. As part of his consultant work, Rove distributed a Phillip Morris-commissioned “push” poll in the Governor’s office. This poll included negative comments about Attorney General Dan Morales (D), who spearheaded the lawsuit against the tobacco industry seeking reimbursement for the state’s costs in treating smoking-related illnesses. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 8/29/97]

HOWARD BEALES, DIRECTOR OF THE FTC BUREAU OF CONSUMER PROTECTION

Howard Beales Was A Consultant For RJ Reynolds. Howard Beales III, worked as a consultant for R.J. Reynolds when it was being challenged by the FTC for using advertisements that made tobacco appealing to children and teens. Beales asserted there was no connection between tobacco advertising and smoking among young people. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 6/18/01; Deseret News, 6/12/01]

  • Beales Defended ‘Joe Camel.’ Beales is an economist who has asserted that there is no link between cigarette advertisements and smoking among teenagers. Beales defended the use of the Joe Camel cartoon character in tobacco advertising. [Deseret News, 6/12/01; Cox News Service, 6/12/01]
  • Wolf In Charge Of Henhouse. Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, likened Beales’s appointment to “putting the wolf in charge of the henhouse.” He added: “Someone with those kinds of ties to the tobacco industry, whose position on the impact of advertising, particularly on young people, is so far out of the mainstream, cannot be counted on to protect our kids.” [Washington Post, 5/31/05]

OTTO REICH, PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY TO THE AMERICAS

Reich Was Creator Of Lobbying Firm Whose Clients Included British America Tobacco. Reich was the creator of and lobbyist for RMA International, a lobbying group for companies involved in Latin America. RMA’s clients included British America Tobacco, Bacardi-Martini, and Telegate. [National Journal, 3/1/97; Senate Office of Public Records, www.sopr.gov]

KIRK BLALOCK, FORMER DEPUTY DIRECTOR, WHITE HOUSE OFFICE OF PUBLIC LIAISON

Blalock Was Spokesperson For Philip Morris. Blalock, a Republican Lobbyist, served as the spokesperson for Philip Morris. Blalock ran the lobbying firm Fierce, Isakowitz,& Blalock whose clients include Fannie Mae, the Health Insurance Association of America, and the Business Roundtable. [PR Newswire, 5/2/01; American Health Line, 4/3/01; Washington Post, 5/16/04]

DAVID SCHEFFMAN, FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE FTC BUREAU OF ECONOMICS

Scheffman Testified On Behalf Of Tobacco Companies. David Scheffman, who led the Bureau of Economics from June of 2001 through July of 2003, testified on behalf of the tobacco industry that cigarette makers never conspired to suppress the development of healthier products. Scheffman testified that it was economically implausible to think that the firms conspired to suppress research on safer cigarettes because it would have been in their own interest to create a more healthful product and thereby increase sales. [New York Times, 6/12/01; Washington Post, 6/8/01]

BUSH TRIED TO SNUFF OUT TOBACCO LAWSUIT

Bush’s Justice Department Pressured Experts To Change Testimony. Government lawyers asked two of their own witnesses to soften recommendations about sanctions that should be imposed on the tobacco industry if it lost its civil racketeering case. Matt Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said the Justice Department’s lead trial lawyer called him May 9 to say her superiors wanted him to scale back the recommendations he had made in written testimony. They sought to remove his suggestions for a ban on tobacco company methods of marketing to young people before Myers took the stand. Myers said he refused to do so. A second witness, scientific expert Michael Eriksen, also departed from recommendations in his earlier written testimony. Four separate sources said he did so at the request of Justice Department lawyers. [Washington Post, 6/9/05]

Bush Eliminated Funding For Litigation Expenses To Tobacco Litigation Team. In 2001, the Tobacco Litigation Team was provided with $23 million. However, in 2002, Bush failed to set aside any funding for continued legal efforts, including discovery, research and storage of billions of pages of documents. The Tobacco Litigation Team informed Ashcroft that without a budget increase, “there are no realistic prospects for a settlement” and that the Team would be forced “seriously to consider seeking authority to dismiss the case.” [Washington Post, 4/24/01 and 4/25/01]

Bush Administration Prepared To Settle Tobacco Lawsuit, Move Criticized As Not In “Good Faith.” The Bush Administration notified members of Congress that the Administration was prepared to seek a settlement with the industry citing concerns about the strength of the Department of Justice’s case. Critics of the Bush administration decision to settle the lawsuit questioned Bush’s tactics. “No good faith negotiator would settle their litigation by announcing at the beginning that they might lose,” said William Corr, of Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids. [Washington Post, 6/18/01; Los Angeles Times, 6/18/01]

BIG TOBACCO HAS HISTORY OF BANKROLLING BUSH AND GOP

Tobacco Companies Gave More Than $160,000 To Bush, Almost $2.2 Million To GOP. In the 2004 election cycle, Bush was the top recipient of tobacco money taking in $167,845. That year, the tobacco industry also gave $2,180,155 to Republican candidates and party committees overall. [Center for Responsive Politics, Accessed 6/8/05]

GOP Supporter Philip Morris Is Personally Thanked On 2001 Presidential Dinner Invitation. In 2000, Philip Morris was the second largest contributor to the Republican Party, giving almost $1.5 million. Philip Morris Companies, Inc. is one of ten companies and trade groups singled out and “gratefully acknowledg[ed]” for its contribution in an invitation to the 2001 President’s Dinner for the Republican National Committee (RNC). The RNC raised more than $20 million from the dinner. [2001 Presidents Dinner invitation; Washington Post, 6/28/01; Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly, 10/16/00]