Readers React: Why did legislators allow ‘intense lobbying’ to kill a flavored tobacco ban?

A teenager uses a vaping device in Cambridge, Mass.
(Steven Senne / Associated Press)

To the editor: I find the expression “intense lobbying” in the article on the failure of a bill in the California Legislature to ban flavored tobacco most interesting. I understand lobbying has an important role in government; information and facts must be disseminated.

But pending legislation often bumps up against this effective strategy, even when it seems to be common-sense rulemaking. Because a law may adversely affect the interests of a vested few, lobbying pressure often negates an honest effort to improve conditions for the many, as in this and other bills.

In the case of the proposed flavored tobacco ban, legislators extol the virtues of the effort in question, while managing to find some shred of minutiae (usually surmountable) to defeat it.

I’m curious to know, what exactly does “intense lobbying” mean? And, where is the line between it and bribery?


Harold Sriro, Santa Monica

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