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 and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


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.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight 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

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.