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7/15/15

Preventive Healthcare: Pro-business lobbying giant US Chamber of Commerce waging global lobbying campaign against anti-smoking laws

CVS Health Corporation (CVS) made big news recently when it cancelled its membership in the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce, the pro-corporate,Washington lobbying giant that was recently revealed to have been waging a global lobbying campaign against anti-smoking laws.

Given its stated commitment to health promotion, CVS did the right thing. But six major health care companies, four of which sit on the Chamber's board – and all of which have anti-smoking programs – haven't done anything. It's time to hold them accountable.

These companies should not be allowed to profit from the US Chamber's corporate lobbying and then stick their heads in the sand when it's caught working directly against public health and safety.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and a group of fellow Democratic senators have just sent a letter to all 108 companies on the Chamber's board, demanding that they state their positions on the Chamber's pro-smoking lobbying.

But six major health care companies who are Chamber members – Aetna, Cigna, Anthem, the Health Care Service Corporation, the Steward Health Care System of Boston, and the Indiana University Health system – also have a responsibility. All of them support anti-smoking programs, but the Chamber’s efforts undercut that mission.

Today, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S. and around the world. Cigarette smoking accounts for almost half a million deaths a year in the U.S. alone. Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis.3

Tell these health care companies: Drop your affiliation with the pro-smoking U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Click here to sign the petition.

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