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Dems attack Chamber over tobacco lobbying

By Tim Devaney

Senate Democrats are turning up the pressure on the Chamber of Commerce over reports that the business organization is lobbying for Big Tobacco. The Chamber’s efforts to strike down anti-smoking health laws around the world are “craven and unconscionable,” said the lawmakers, led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s decision to use its international clout to fight regulations of tobacco products around the world is craven and unconscionable,” the senators wrote.

“Commerce member companies should be concerned that their good name is sullied in efforts to strike down public health protections worldwide.” The letter comes after a recent report in The New York Times highlighting what it said is the Chamber’s role in supporting the tobacco industry.

The Chamber pushed back on that article as false and 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 spokesperson said.

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