November 13, 1996
Secret memos detailing how the American Civil Liberties Union works as a hired gun for the Tobacco Industry will be revealed at a press conference on Wednesday, November 13th, 10 a.m, at 132 West 43rd Street (bet. 6th & Broadway), outside the A.C.L.U.. For the first time, the memos expose an intentional A.C.L.U. cover-up of a quid pro quo – direct work for funding – relationship with Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds, the world’s two largest tobacco manufacturers.
The confidential documents detail how the A.C.L.U., the 76-year-old sacred cow of American liberalism and defender of the Bill of Rights, has received over $1 million dollars in combined funding from the two tobacco giants in exchange for aggressive advocacy on their behalf. The A.C.L.U.’s work for cigarette company donations is in direct conflict with its status as a tax-exempt, non-profit institution.
Investigative journalist and former A.C.L.U. employee, John Fahs, author of the Berkley Publishing Group’s new book, CIGARETTE CONFIDENTIAL: THE UNFILTERED TRUTH ABOUT THE ULTIMATE AMERICAN ADDICTION, will distribute the internal A.C.L.U. documents at the press conference. Joe Cherner, President of SmokeFree Educational Services, will describe his experience with the A.C.L.U.’s refusal to support non-smokers rights.
In 1993 major news headlines reported the A.C.L.U.’s acceptance of cigarette money but the agency denied any link between funding and their defense of tobacco industry issues. These secret memos not only reveal a clear conflict of interest but also demonstrate a concerted cover-up and campaign of disinformation after the acceptance of cigarette money had been brought to light.
NY Coalition for a Smoke-Free City
FOR RELEASE: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 1996
CONTACT: Cynthia Malmuth: (212) 744-7476
Tina Mosetis: (516) 487-5866
Joe Cherner: (212) 912-0960 :
SMOKEFREE EDUCATIONAL SERVICES, INC.
375 South End Avenue, Suite 32F
New York, NY 10280
Phone (212) 912-0960 Fax: (212) 488-8911