|Jump to full article: Topeka (KS) Capital-Journal, 2012-05-03|
Author: Andy Marso
Proponents of a bill to allow exemptions to the state smoking ban for over-21 establishments are pushing back against American Cancer Society claims that Big Tobacco is behind the effort.
Sheila Martin, an advocate of the bill who owns a Hutchinson club that is already exempt from the ban, took great exception to a ACS email encouraging supporters to "Help Turn Back New Assaults from Big Tobacco."
"Not one penny has been given to us from RJ Reynolds or Phillip Morris," she said. "This is a bald-faced lie."
Martin said she approached an RJ Reynolds official about supporting the bill, but he declined.
Christopher Masoner, the cancer society's chief lobbyist in Kansas, said RJ Reynolds testified at the same hearing in favor of another tobacco bill that would direct the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to explore whether smokeless tobacco is safer than cigarettes.
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