As an elected official in the state of California, I pledge to accept no money from the tobacco industry or its affiliates.
Tobacco kills approximately 450,000 Americans every year. It is the only legal product when used as intended that exacts such a toll, killing more than a third of its customers. It also drains the nation of billions of dollars each year in related costs.
As the tobacco control movement has exposed the long-term unethical practices of the tobacco giants, the industry has attempted to rehabilitate its image by increasing its philanthropy and other public giving.
By not accepting contributions from the tobacco industry, I am denying the industry the legitimacy and respectability it seeks. It is my hope that isolating the industry will help de-normalize smoking and promote the public health.