Although many business organizations held their fire on the tobacco legislation that was effectively scuttled by the Senate Wednesday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbied hard and ran television ads against the measure. In a victory statement, President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said, "Under the guise of stopping teen smoking, this bill became a smokescreen for a huge tax increase, more big government, and a giant bonanza to benefit a handful of wealthy trial lawyers. Once the public recognized this, it was only a matter of time before it collapsed of its own weight.
"Clearly, tobacco was just the first industry to face this extraordinary assault. But thankfully we were able to get the message out to Senators, to our members, and to the public."