Objectives: This study tested the hypothesis that tobacco industry campaign contributions influence state legislators' behavior.
Methods: Multivariate simultaneous equations regression was used to analyze data on tobacco industry campaign contributions to state legislators and legislators' tobacco control policy scores in 6 states. Campaign contributions were obtained from disclosure statements available in the specific state agency that gathers such information in each state. Tobacco policy scores were derived from a survey of key informants working on tobacco issues in each state.
Results: As tobacco industry contributions increase, a legislator's tobacco policy score tends to decrease (i.e., become more pro-tobacco industry). A more pro-tobacco position was associated with larger contributions from the industry. These results were significant even after controls for partisanship, majority party status, and leadership effects. In California, campaign contributions were still significantly related to tobacco policy scores after controls for constituent attitudes and legislators' personal characteristics.
Conclusions: Tobacco industry campaign contributions influence state legislators in terms of tobacco control policy-making.