Cigarette maker Reynolds American says former House Speaker John Boehner, a longtime smoker, is joining its board of directors. Boehner has said he smokes Camel Ultra Lights. When he left Congress, incoming Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he wasn't sure how to rid the office of the smell, comparing it to a rental auto that had been smoked in.
Boehner, who left Congress past year, will serve on the RAI board's corporate governance, nominating and sustainability committee.
The Ohio Republican was the nation's highest-ranking smoker before he left office last October.
He was first elected to Congress in 1990, and became Speaker in 2011. In the 2010 election cycle, for example, he received almost $50,000 from people and PACs associated with tobacco companies, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Former House Speaker John Boehner has parlayed one of his favorite pastimes into a lucrative new gig.
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In a press statement, Thomas C. Wajnert, who chairs Reynolds' board of directors. noted that move comes "as RAI gains momentum in its strategy to transform the tobacco industry". The board now has 14 members. Anti-tobacco groups are also now pushing for a ban on menthol cigarettes, the Wall Street Journal reports.
"Reynolds knows that reducing cigarette prices attracts price-sensitive youth, and the tobacco industry has a long history of using concerts to market to young people", Myers said.
Myers said RAI and other tobacco companies are also spending millions to fight ballot initiatives to significantly increase cigarette taxes in California, Colorado and North Dakota. He has been supported by tobacco companies before.
- This post was updated at 5:36 p.m.