Opposition from the Tobacco Industry
The tobacco industry vigorously opposes smoke-free environments worldwide because they undermine the social acceptability of smoking and reduce cigarette consumption.
Because of its low public credibility, the tobacco industry works through front groups and third party allies to fight tobacco control measures at all levels.
For example, at the local level, the tobacco industry has used public relations firms to organise "smokers’ rights groups".
At the international level, the tobacco industry has used its lawyers to secretly orchestrate scientific consultants to influence public and policymaker opinions on secondhand smoke.
At all levels, the tobacco industry has organised or even created third party allies in the hospitality industry to oppose smoke-free environments and has worked through consultants to present ventilation or air cleaning as a viable alternative to smoke-free environments, particularly for the hospitality industry.
While continuing efforts to use the hospitality industry to oppose smoke-free policies during the mid to late 1990s, the tobacco industry successfully mobilised the casino segment of the gambling industry to oppose smoke-free policies and promote ventilation as an alternative to smoke-free areas.
In 1999, the US gambling industry was a $54 billion dollar industry (gross revenue reported by operators before salaries, taxes, and expenses).
The proliferation of legalised gambling, which includes the spread of casinos and other non-traditional gambling facilities licensed to operate video gambling machines, both in the USA and internationally, has made the use of the gambling industry a new and effective channel for the tobacco industry to oppose smoke-free policies from behind the scenes.