VESTED INTERESTS SERIES
Vested Interests in Addiction Research and Policy. Alliance between tobacco and alcohol industries to shape public policy
Correspondence to: Pamela M. Ling, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, Division of General Internal Medicine, Dept of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, 530 Parnassus Avenue, Suite 366, Box 1390, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA. E-mail: email@example.com
The tobacco and alcohol industries share common policy goals when facing regulation, opposing policies such as tax increases and advertising restrictions. The collaboration between these two industries in the tobacco policy arena is unknown. This study explored if tobacco and alcohol companies built alliances to influence tobacco legislation and, if so, how those alliances worked.
Analysis of previously secret tobacco industry documents.
In the early 1980s, tobacco companies started efforts to build coalitions with alcohol and other industries to oppose cigarette excise taxes, clean indoor air policies and tobacco advertising and promotion constraints. Alcohol companies were often identified as a key partner and source of financial support for the coalitions. These coalitions had variable success interfering with tobacco control policy-making.
The combined resources of tobacco and alcohol companies may have affected tobacco control legislation. These alliances helped to create the perception that there is a broader base of opposition to tobacco control. Advocates should be aware of the covert alliances between tobacco, alcohol and other industries and expose them to correct this misperception.