Jeffrey D Ross

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Jeffrey D Ross (known as "Jeff") was one of the Issues Managers with the Tobacco Institute. He also ran the College of Tobacco Knowledge in the mid 1980s.

Documents & Timelines

1986 Jun 12-13 College of Tobacco Knowledge explanation about instructors:

Jeffrey (Jeff) D. Ross: Issues manager, at the Tobacco Institute, D.C. He focusing on all aspects of workplace smoking issues. Jeff serves as a liaison to corporations and organizations. He holds a degree in government from East Carolina University and was formerly government affairs program director for an environmental trade association.

1986 Jul 13 File note by Katherine L Becker of the Tobacco Institute following an interview she has done with Bill Trisler (BT - TI Regional Director for Region III (Illinois, etc.)) on the value of "economic impact studies" (and how to deal with politicians):

In BT's view, if Tobacco Institute sponsorship is identified, "red flags go up." Reaction is good if Institute sponsorship is not identified, or if our representative has a "good relationship" with a legislator.

BT believes the strong point of the study to be its data: Legislators are looking to the lobbyists for information. He recommends leaving out the weak section on the bill's effects on individuals. Bill would like to see a media support program which would extract and publicize key parts of these studies.

James A Papke (Purdue University):
This economist testified on a tax bill before the Ohio House Ways and Means Committee. Described by BT as an "outstanding" witness with a good grasp of how this issue (tax hike) would affect the economy, he is rated as someone who could likely be used very effectively in any situation,

Also she includes some notes about ongoing projects involving workplace smoking restrictions.

Bill has met with Jeff Ross to discuss the use of this program in Michigan.

Rick Studley, Michigan Chamber of Commerce , will send P.R.-prepared materials to its members once BT, Ross and Studley finalize plans. The Detroit Free Press will be the first company in that state to implement a voluntary policy in cooperation with The Institute.

According to Bill, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and restaurant group also have voiced an interest in The Institute's voluntary program.

1987 Oct 7 He is at the Tobacco Institute handling the Hispanic Relations Program under Susan Stuntz

1987 Dec 11 Susan Stuntz at the Tobacco Institute has invited Chip Foley, Carol HrycaJ , John Lyons, Lisa Osborne, Fred Panzer, Laura Picciano, Sharon Ransome, Jeff Ross , Debbie Schoonmaker, Karen Doyne, Mike Forscey, Mark Gerchick, Richard Marcus, Jim Savarese, Larry Zoeller along to a brainstorming session

Our session will begin promptly at 8:30 with an overview of the anti-smoking movement and delineation of our assignment.

Attached is some background reading on the anti-smoking movement, along vith group assignments. Please complete the reading before the meeting. [Three discussion groups to explore ....]

  1. Group l -- The anti-smoking movement: who are they, why do they exist and what are their relationships to each other?
  2. Group 2 --What is the anti-smoking movement doing, what are their priorities?
  3. Group 3 -- What tactics are they using and where are they getting their funding?

1987 Dec 28 Peter G Sparber has prepared the Tobacco Institute's Public Affairs, Management Plan, Progress Report

The staff are dealing with a number of issues:
John Lyons deals with Information

1988 In 1988 Jeff Ross was also running the CART (Coalition Against Regressive Taxation) operations. (CART was a tobacco front, but it enrolled other industries which had an interest in maintaining low excise and other taxes).

1988 Feb 2 James Savarese reports to the Tobacco Institute on a meeting with a "core group of economists" ...

To exchange thoughts and ideas on the social cost issue with the goal of determining projects and making assignments for 1988. [In order to attack] Anti-smoking activists [who] have distorted the issue of social cost. Even though economists ridicule their statistics, politicians and the press believe them.

The core group (members of the' Cash-for-comments Economists Network consists of

They are supported by staff from a number of law-firms and PR/lobbyist companies:

[Note: This is lobbying pure and simple: The conclusions of their report expose numerous outright admissions as to the scientific and academic subterfuge these people are knowlingly engaged in.]
  • Conclusions:
    • The higher rate of illness of smokers is a 'private cost' not a social cost [and therefore should be ignored.]
    • It is not politically useful for us to argue the primary health statistics.
    • Up to this time, ETS has not been translated effectively by the opposition into cost numbers. Rather, it is a regulatory issue.
    • We cannot afford to lose the argument among people who think they are being harmed by ETS. If ETS causes harm, it becomes a classic case of real social cost.
    • We must make sure that primary costs of smoking be kept out of any social cost calculation. We must separate primary smoking statistics from ETS statistics.
    • More research is needed on ETS in order to deny health consequences

Primary assumptions that need to be countered.

  • Insurance and Health Costs:
    • Health problems exist for smokers.
The cost for health care due to excess illness or death of smokers equals smokers' cost to society.
    • Insurance premium -- Discounts for non-smoker (not justified?)
    • Pension Plans -- Increased mortality rates saves money
  • Productivity and Absenteeism:
    • Smokers are absent more frequently than non-smokers.The time spent by a employee smoking on the job is time spent not working. These factors make the smoker a less productive member of society than a non-smoker.
    • The worker bears the cost of absenteeism via fewer raises, less advancement, or termination. Society bears no burden.
  • Social Security and Medicare:
[Note: see here the infamous Death benefits argument. When people die young they are less of a burden on society.]
    • Based on lifetime calculations, smokers should be getting a rebate. We should propose a rebate program, rather than a tax program.
    • If non-smokers live longer, when the baby boomers reach retirement age, very high tax rates will be necessary to finance Medicare and Social Security. If smoking is banned, it would cause some serious problems in future years.
  • Fires: It is not a social cost for a smoker to burn his house down, just a private cost.
    • Social cost only exists if a neighbor's house burns down (a much smaller number).
  • ETS: Blanket smoking.restrictions raise costs to private employers.
    • If restrictions are cost effective, individual companies will adopt them.

Goals: As a result of this meeting, we should devise a specific plan and timetable of implementation with assignments for specific projects. We need to review and critique existing materials and develop our own core of research.

They then allocated Research projects to the economists and disussed additional research ideas which might prove useful to the industry. Both the Southern and Eastern Economic Association presented forums at which the economists could present papers and ... "Tollison is looking for one or two others. Major session of a university to bring together all relevant research on social cost will be planned after research projects are completed. Proceedings will be published in a monograph." </I

1988 May 12 Ross is being ccd along with Susan Stuntz on a memo from John Lyons about the "Smoker's Rights Alliance's (SRA) Airport Activities" The SRA leader, Dave Brenton is on a tour involving

Houston today and tomorrow, and his remaining schedule includes Minneapolis, St. Louis, New York, Denver, Chicago, Raleigh and finally his home town of Phoenix.
As you know, the protests and information centers were designed to provide a visual hook for the media. To date, SRA has picketed only at Washington National. (Although SRA has more than 600 members nationwide, most are in the Phoenix area.)
Lining up individuals to protest during normal business hours has proved difficult. [B]ut we have succeeded in positioning Brenton as an activist who is undertaking a monumental task in a reasonable manner, and reporters see a story in his "quixotic" effort.

The memo lists his successes in attracting media attention at different airports.

1990 Oct 1 Jeffrey Ross now lists himself as the Vice President of Reece Communications (Type-in Bates Number) 2065055280