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Tobacco Companies Cough Up Campaign Cash In California


Tobacco companies have spent more than $49 million in campaign contributions in California over the last 18 months. A new report from the American Lung Association lays out exactly what the companies spent their money on.

The report is based on figures from the Secretary of State.

It reveals tobacco companies spent more than $46 million to defeat a tobacco tax initiative on the June ballot. They laid out an additional $1.6 million to persuade lawmakers to vote against certain bills.

The American Lung Association's Lindsay Freitas said tobacco companies also gave money to candidates campaigns.

"I think the legislators themselves need to be aware of what it means when they take this money. They're taking money from these industries that have a real poor track record," Freitas argued.

Since the 2003-2004 election cycle, tobacco companies have spent nearly $126 million on political activities in California.