JOHN McCAIN: Smokers Alliance Plans Attack Ads in Va.
GOP presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is facing opposition in Virginia, where the Alexandria-based National Smokers Alliance plans to spend about $25,000 for a television, radio and print advertising campaign that blasts his support of 1998 anti-smoking legislation. As a "prime architect" of the measure two years ago, McCain proposed a cigarette tax increase that would have boosted their cost by $1.10-a-pack to pay for a settlement with the tobacco industry and to discourage teens from smoking. Although the bill died, smokers have not forgotten McCain's participation, running a similar ad campaign in South Carolina. McCain said, "I'm honored by the attacks by the people who addicted our children and lied to Congress. I hope they will spend more money because that authenticates this crusade of ours to get the influence of special interests out of politics." Tobacco companies Brown & Williamson, Lorillard and Philip Morris, which originally funded the alliance in 1993, have since withdrawn their support and disavowed any association with the ads (Klein, Media General News Service/Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.