THE TOBACCO LOBBY IS MAKING A KILLING

Seventy-eight percent of Louisianans don’t smoke, and eight out of ten of those who do smoke want to quit. There’s no reason why we should still allow smoking indoors at bars and gaming facilities. And there’s only one reason why we still do: the tobacco and gaming industry gives money to your legislators to influence their votes.

The longer political contributions keep smoking in our public spaces, the longer Big Tobacco will keep making a killing off the people of Louisiana. We’re ready to fight for a smoke-free state. Are you?

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Yay Or Nay?

Do you support policies that prohibit smoking in bars and gaming facilities in Louisiana?

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Support the movement to make all public places, including bars and gaming facilities, smoke-free in Louisiana.

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Go out and support local musicians in the smoke-free venues near you.

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Straight from Big Tobacco’s Mouth

The tobacco industry and its lobbyists will do and say just about anything to protect their profits. Even in the face of irrefutable science, insurmountable evidence, studies, warnings and testimonials—and millions of deaths caused by tobacco use—they’re still determined to shill for their product using any means necessary. Their alternate reality would be entertaining if it weren’t literally killing us.

We collected a few clips of industry talking heads portraying tobacco as safe to prove our point. Even on camera, they’re not afraid to bend the truth or outright lie if it means they can avoid new tobacco regulations and protect their ability to sell a product that kills more than half of its users. And protect their ability to make a killing while doing it.

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The Tobacco Lobby’s Last Stand

You have to hand it to the tobacco industry—for the better part of a century, they had a product that everyone wanted. From the early 1900s all the way to 1950, per capita cigarette consumption rose steadily—at its peak, a full 47% of American adults were smokers.

But that’s when things started to get rocky—the connection between smoking and illness became universally accepted, and smokers started quitting. Enter the tobacco lobbyists, whose sole purpose is to protect the tobacco industry’s profits and stem the loss of active smokers however they can. Here’s a look at what they’ve been up to since the link to smoking and dying was made.

FIGHT BACK

What Does $1.89 Billion Look Like?

Louisianans spend $1.89 billion each year in tobacco-related healthcare costs. That’s a really big number. So, what does $1.89 billion look like? It looks like 382 private jets. Or a million fishing boats. Or 7.3 million bicycles. Or, $404 in cold hard cash for every person in Louisiana.

It’s an incredible sum. And we shouldn’t ever be so sick as a state that it costs that much to care for ourselves. But that’s the toll that tobacco takes on Louisiana each and every year.

Let’s imagine, for a moment, that none of us was made sick by tobacco or secondhand smoke, and we had $1.89 billion to use some other way. How would you spend it?

Share your idea.

LET’S RUN THE NUMBERS.

Louisiana's legislators are elected to serve the interests of the people. But when political contributions from the tobacco lobby roll in to the tune of nearly $300,000, the lobby's interests start to carry more weight than the voters' opinions.

Want to find out specifically how much they think you're worth? Give the calculator a whirl.

Legislator Look-Up

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR

Watch this. Or read lots of charts and graphs that show the connection between tobacco lobby contributions, tobacco industry profits and Louisiana’s health problems.

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THE LOBBYIST PLAYLIST

Money in politics. Smoking in public spaces. That’s a tobacco lobbyist’s idea of harmony. This collection of songs seems right up their alley—the alley of paying to play, choosing profit over people's health and buying votes by the pack.

Listen Now

I LIVE FOR THE MUSIC. THEY CUT OUR LIVES SHORT.

The culture of Louisiana is what makes it such a great place to live. And a big part of that culture is our musicians—we can hear them playing live in our local venues any day of the week.

But smoking is still allowed in most of the bars and gaming facilities where bands play, so our musicians are forced to breathe in secondhand smoke while they work if they want to stay in Louisiana to try to earn their living.

Without our music, the culture of Louisiana wouldn't be the same. Tobacco lobby money shouldn’t matter more to our policy makers than the health, wellbeing and livelihood of our local musicians. 

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