Big Tobacco’s Big Play

For decades, the country’s tobacco giants have leveraged huge campaign contributions to dictate Washington’s global smoking policies. With George W. Bush in the White House, that influence is only growing.

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Up in Smoke

November/December 2002 Issue
States promised to use the tobacco settlement to fight smoking — but some are reinvesting the money in Big Tobacco.

An Engineered Controversy

January/February 2002 Issue
Farmers fear that genetically altered tobacco will contaminate their crops.

Tobacco Money Flows Both Ways

July 6, 2000
Trial lawyers squeezed billions out of the Republican-loving tobacco industry in last year’s landmark settlement. Then they took their newfound wealth and contributed millions to federal and state Democratic campaigns.

Big Tobacco Rides East

January/February 1999 Issue
With a squinting cowboy, cute cigarette girls, an American allure, and a poorly funded opposition, America’s tobacco giants lay seige to Asian markets.

Tobacco Strikes Back

May/June 1996 Issue
How tobacco executives set out to win the game, with covert political operatives and massive amounts of campaign cash.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate