Protect Local Control

Ensuring Community Rights
To Pass Smokefree Ordinances
 

Resource

CAC Presentation #4 Tina Walls

Publication Date: 12/9/1994
Bates Range: 2041183751/3790

This lengthy memo is the draft of a presentation by Tina Walls and others from Philip Morris (PM). The main topic of the memo is how various types of unfavorable legislation (e.g., tax increases, clean indoor air laws) have been, or can be, defeated by PM. The memo states that one of PM's most important goals "is to see some form of accommodation/preemption legislation passed in all 50 states."

The need to preempt effective clean indoor air laws is summed up by Walls, "The immediate implications for our business are clear: if our consumers have fewer opportunities to enjoy our products, they will use them less frequently and the result will be an adverse impact on our bottom line. Even more important, accommodation/preemption laws shape the real-world environment in which our customers and their non-smoking friends and associates live every day. If smokers are banished to doorways and loading docks in front of buildings, it makes smokers feel like outcasts and gives encouragement to the antis. On the other hand, if we live in a society that accommodates smokers and non-smokers alike, it sends the message that smoking is a viable life-style choice and an adult's decision to use a legal product should be respected."

Walls refers to the passage of clean indoor air ordinances by "antis" as "a 'PAC-man' strategy where they attempt to gobble up one community at a time." Walls acknowledges that this strategy is effective, but states that preemption stops this activity. Walls indicates that 19 states have preemption, but that in the others "we're going to have to fight like hell to get a preemption law we can live with." Walls and several other PM executives go on to describe various "innovative strategies" for passing preemption in various states. Walls and others indicate that passage of state preemption laws will support the other PM goals discussed in the memo, such as opposition to the proposed Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) workplace regulations, and countering the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) report on secondhand smoke.

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