DeSmog

Cigarette anyone?

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The Competitive Enterprise Insitute, a DC-based “think” tank is in full crisis mode today after being fingered heavily in a Union of Concerned Scientists report linking ExxonMobil’s underhanded PR tactics to deny the realities of climate change to the tobacco industry campaign to claim that smoking (and more recently, second-hand smoke) isn’t bad for us.

But even as they deny being a hired shill for big tobacco and big oil, CEI proudly features a package of cigarettes on its home page, along with a criticism of smoking bans in public places. The CEI headline screams: “District smoking ban threatens economic liberty.

Well, it could put a crimp in CEI‘s “economics,” especially if the big funders finally realize that CEI is no longer functioning as an effective astroturf group.

While we wait, it will be fun to watch how long it takes before CEI slips the cigarette image off to the same now-distant page where it’s hiding the TV commercials that claim CO2 is good for you.

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Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmog. He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning. Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks. Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder. Prior to DeSmog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health. In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications. Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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