John Lyon

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John Lyon was the vice president at the Tobacco Institute in charge of the various local and regional activities, under the title of State Activities Division (SAD). He had direct control over about a dozen Regional Directors spread around the country and his own staff or about a dozen (severely cut back in 1993).

Dates and TimeLines

1989 Mar 21 John Lyons (VP State Activities) has called the Tobacco Institute disinformation staff and their external consultants together for a one-day brainstorming session on "Public Smoking" problems. His agenda details the main problems they were facing:

  • Cigarette tax increases have been proposed in 35 states and DC.
    • One state has already passed a tax increase. [Wyoming + 4¢]
    • Five states have defeated excise increases
    • Bills are anticipated in another 8-13 states.
  • Tax increases on smokeless tobacco is also pending in 18 states
    • One state has defeated excise increases
    • Bills are anticipated in another 8-13 states.
  • Taxes or restrictions on the use of certain packaging materials have been proposed in 17 states. (with another 3 expected)
  • "Fire-Safe" standards for cigarettes are proposed for four states.
    • Legislation is anticipated in another 4 to 10 states.
  • Proposals to 'earmark' existing cigarette taxes have surfaced in 27 states, and Wyoming has since passed a law.
    • These funds are targetted to be used for health care, smoking cessation programs, fire protection, anti-tobacco education, and cancer research. [and many more]
    • Earmarking proposals have been defeated in Mississippi and Wisconsin.
  • Toxic Waste laws, like California's Prop 65
    • Safe Drinking Water Acts have been proposed in four new states.
    • (Hawaii has delayed consideration)
  • Indoor Air Quality standards have been proposed in ten states (and another 4 potentially)
  • Cigarette Sample Bans have been proposed in 13 states and passed in Nebraska and Utah.
    • However bills to stop this type of sampling among young people have been defeated in Hawaii, South Dakota and Washington
    • Sampling legislation is anticipated in another 9-21 states.
  • Legislation to ban tobacco advertising has been proposed in 9 states with another 8 pending. (Hawaii has blocked the legislation)
    • Another 9 to 18 states are considering a ban.
  • Bills to expand or introduce smoking restrictions are being considered in 40 states.
    • Utah has already banned school smoking
    • 21 states will introduce workplace smoking restrictions
    • 13 states are to try bans of public smoking only
    • Washington State has banned smoking in some public transport (ferries)
    • Legislation is anticipated in another 4-6 states
    • 5 states have killed smoking ban legislation
    • Virginia has 'Pre-emptive' legislation to block workplace advertising bans except by the employer.
      • Six other states have similar pre-emptive legislation (planned?).
  • Death certificates to show 'contribution' of tobacco use.
    • Eight states have legislation requiring this
    • six others are considering bills.
  • Vending machine sales restrictions to limit youth access are proposed in 14 states.
    • Georgia, Maryland and Washington have defeated similar bills
  • Sales taxes on advertising expenditure has been imposed by three states. One has rejected.
  • Pre-emptive bills:
    • Eight states propose to prohibit employment discrimination based on smoking and non-smoking.
    • Similar legislation is being considered in 6 more states.

1993 Lyon doesn't appear to have still been in control of the State Activities Division at the time of the cut-backs. Cathy Yeo appears to have taken over.

1993 Sep Cathey Yeo's copy of the Tobacco Institute's State Activities Division (SAD) Lobbyist meeting has listed as Attendees from the Tobacco Institute Staff Diana L Avedon and Dan Shafer, both from Washington DC.

1993 Oct 22 Towards the end of this year there was a reorganisation of the Tobacco Institute where:

  • The overall TI budget was proposed to be cut by 61%, from $38,925,000 down to $15,000,000 mass termination of staff at the Tobacco Institute.
  • 38 staff positions were to be eliminated.
  • 34 staff were to be fired (15 professional and 19 support staff) -- $2m in termination costs.
  • Close all field offices -- terminate 5 Regional VPs
  • Freeze all salary reviews
  • Eliminate the Public Affairs and Federal Relations divisions and merge the remaining staff into Issues Management