Ranked 68 out of 80

United States

Overall Score: 76

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Indicators of Influence

These seven key indicators highlight interference from the tobacco industry in the United States.

No. 1

Industry participation in policy development

Indicator Score:

15 / 20

No. 2

Tobacco industry-related CSR activities

Indicator Score:

5 / 20

No. 3

Benefits given to the tobacco industry

Indicator Score:

9 / 20

No. 4

Unnecessary interaction with the tobacco industry

Indicator Score:

7 / 20

No. 5

Procedure for transparency measures

Indicator Score:

5 / 20

No. 6

Avoiding conflicts of interest

Indicator Score:

12 / 20

No. 7

Preventive measures

Indicator Score:

19 / 30


These are ways the United States can deter interference from the tobacco industry:

  • Ratify the WHO FCTC. The United States participated in the negotiations and signed the WHO FCTC. However, it remains to be a non-party to the treaty. Thus, it should ratify the WHO FCTC and enact a federal law that will implement it.
  • Restrict lobbying. Lobbying is constitutionally protected, and a total ban is impossible. However, lobbying may be restricted by requiring full disclosure of expenditures related to tobacco control legislation. Since the tobacco industry operates as furtively as it can, full disclosure requirements will deter it in interfering with public policy.
  • Adopt an official code of conduct. Public office is a public trust. The principal objective of each public official is the welfare of the people. Hence, an official code of conduct should be adopted to prevent or lessen interference from industries sought to be regulated. Strict rules against conflict of interest should be implemented.
  • Require disclosures of interaction with the tobacco industry. Government officials should disclose interactions with tobacco industry representatives, including transcripts of meetings.
  • Divest from tobacco. Several states and localities have already complied with Article 5.3 requirements to divest from tobacco; others should follow.
  • Educate lawmakers to leverage support. Advocates can share fact sheets to inform lawmakers of key findings from the federal racketeering case. They can also identify and distribute state-specific quotes from internal tobacco industry documents illustrating examples of historical interference in each state. Advocates can also leverage strong public support for lawmakers to correct all current laws influenced by tobacco companies (including preemption).

Learn more about tobacco industry interference in this country.

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