University of Vermont

Office of Health Promotion Research

OHPR Abstract 35

Abstract 1990-1999

Cohen JE, Goldstein AO, Flynn BS, Munger MC, Gottlieb NH, Solomon LJ, Dana GS. State legislators' perceptions of lobbyists and lobbying on tobacco control issues. Tob Control. 1997 Winter;6(4):332-6.

OBJECTIVE: To determine state legislators' perceptions about health and tobacco lobbyists, their frequency of contact with these lobbyists, and the amount of campaign contributions from health professional organisations and the tobacco industry. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SUBJECTS: State legislators from North Carolina, Texas, and Vermont (USA), serving in 1994. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Perceptions about lobbyists representing the tobacco industry, non-profit health organisations, and state medical societies with respect to their credibility, importance as sources of information, and persuasiveness; extent of lobbying activities; campaign contributions from health professional organisations and the tobacco industry. RESULTS: Almost all legislators reported that medical society and non-profit health organisation lobbyists are credible on tobacco issues and just over half believed that these lobbyists are important sources of information. More legislators said they could be persuaded by medical and health lobbyists than by tobacco lobbyists. Although health professional Political Action Committees (PACs) gave campaign contributions to more state legislators, and gave higher amounts on average, than tobacco PACs, legislators reported less contact with medical society lobbyists than tobacco lobbyists about tobacco issues. CONCLUSIONS: State legislators have positive attitudes toward lobbyists for non-profit health organisations and state medical societies regarding tobacco issues. These groups may be an underused resource for educating legislators about tobacco control measures.

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