FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LGBT Partnership Announces List of California Elected Officials Who Have Taken a Stand for Health
73 state and local officials signed statements
that they would not accept tobacco industry contributions
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The California LGBT Tobacco Education Partnership (LGBT Partnership) today released its “Clean Money” list of state and local elected officials who have agreed to refuse tobacco industry contributions. Each official signed a statement that he or she would not accept donations from tobacco companies or distributors.
Tobacco use, according to the World Health Organization, is responsible for nearly six million deaths in the world each year. “Many elected officials told us that they don’t want to have anything to do with the tobacco companies”, said Bob Gordon, member of the San Francisco Tobacco Free Coalition and Project Director of the LGBT Partnership. “They understand the terrible costs we all pay in terms of damaged health, lost productivity and shortened lives.” According to the national organization Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, in California alone, the tobacco industry spends a half billion dollars every year to market itself, while Californians are left to shoulder $9.1 Billion annually in health care costs directly attributable to tobacco use.
Elected officials joined the signature campaign for several reasons. In a survey conducted by an outside evaluator, several officeholders indicated that the opportunity to sign the statement aligned with their interests. One indicated “This is a good opportunity for legislators to stand out in a positive way”. One staff member, before meeting with advocates, learned for the first time details about how the tobacco industry targets vulnerable populations “how it advertises to African Americans, Latinos, LGBTs, Asian Americans, and to a degree, to young kids—particularly disturbing”.
A full list of elected officials who have signed a no-tobacco statement is available at http://www.center4tobaccopolicy.org/cleanmoney
About the California LGBT Tobacco Education Partnership
The California Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Tobacco Education is funded by California’s Tobacco Control Program. The LGBT Partnership advocates for policies limiting tobacco industry donations and reducing the availability of tobacco.