A growing number of campaigns have been pledging to refuse Tobacco Industry dollars. The 2021 California Legislature included 48 senators and assemblymembers who ran successful campaigns without accepting contributions from Big Tobacco, including four members of the Legislative LGBTQ Caucus and three members of the Legislative Rural Caucus.
By kicking Big Tobacco OUT of their campaigns, these 48 legislators are sending a strong message that social justice and civil rights are top priorities! A pledge to keep Big Tobacco money OUT of a campaign is a pledge for public health and a commitment to health equity for LGBTQ+ people and the diverse communities to which we belong.
For decades, Big Tobacco has worked to block legislation aimed at limiting the sale of their deadly products and improving the health and well-being of our communities. In California’s 2020 Senate and Assembly election cycle, tobacco companies spent $6 million on campaign contributions, while spending millions more lobbying against legislation to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products — products disproportionately targeted towards LGBTQ+ people, people of color and our young people.
“The tobacco industry serves no purpose other than to make people sick. Tobacco money is not essential for people to win.”
– SENATOR SCOTT WIENER
“The tobacco industry is killing our children, killing people of color, killing people that have underlying health conditions. We have to take a stand by not accepting tobacco contributions!”
– SENATOR LENA GONZALEZ
The OUT Against Big Tobacco Coalition supported by Equality California Institute launched a pledge in November 2021 urging California legislators and legislative candidates to voluntarily refuse campaign contributions from the tobacco industry.
“I, _____________________ (Candidate Name), ACCEPT the challenge to Kick Big Tobacco OUT of California Politics by rejecting all tobacco industry contributions from tobacco companies, tobacco industry associations, PACs controlled by tobacco companies or tobacco industry associations and tobacco company executives.”
Current signers of the Kick Big Tobacco OUT of California Politics pledge not to take tobacco industry campaign contributions include: