OFFICERS

Chair: Matthew Mahood
President & Chief Executive Officer
San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber
First Vice Chair: John Horner
President & Chief Executive Officer
Morgan Hill Chamber
Treasurer: Anjali Kausar
Chief Executive Officer
Cupertino Chamber
Immediate Past Chair: Dennis King
Executive Director
Hispanic Chamber Silicon Valley
BOARD
Liz Ainsworth
President
Milpitas Chamber of Commerce
Cindy Bonior
President & CEO
Fremont Chamber of Commerce
Don Eagleston
President & CEO
Sunnyvale Silicon Valley Chamber
Oscar Garcia
President & CEO
Mountain View Chamber
Ron Gardner
Board of Directors
Rainbow Chamber of Commerce

August 17, 2015
U.S. Chamber of Commerce:
On behalf of the Silicon Valley Chamber Coalition, we would like to express our disagreement with the U.S.
Chamber’s recent lobbying campaign on anti-smoking restrictions. We believe these regulations are against
our country’s mission of preventing health issues, creates confusion on the stance and priorities of the U.S.
Chamber and effectively, local chambers, and sets the wrong precedence for maintaining the credibility of the
U.S. Chamber in other important issues.
The U.S. Chamber’s decision counters widespread efforts for anti-smoking campaigns and health programs.
Smoking is the most preventable cause of death and with “the current rate among U.S. youth, 5.6 million of
today’s Americans younger than 18 years of age are expected to die prematurely from a smoking-related illness.
This represents about one in every 13 Americans aged 17 years or younger who are alive today” (Center for
Disease Control). We cannot stand to support a campaign that promotes irresponsible management of one’s
health.
This campaign has created confusion because we cannot understand why the U.S. Chamber placed business
interests over public health. The U.S. Chamber itself states that it is “focused on promoting effective private
sector solutions to our health care challenges that will help control costs, expand access, and improve the
quality of care” (U.S. Chamber of Commerce website, Health Care). Supporting the anti-smoking restrictions
does exactly the opposite of your statement. Recently, the New York Times reviewed documents from foreign
governments and chamber affiliates. It “show[s] how the chamber has embraced the challenge, undertaking a
three-pronged strategy in its global campaign to advance the interests of the tobacco industry” (New York
Times). This is contradictory to your own mission, and reflects poorly not just on your association, but on
the rest of the Chambers of Commerce in the nation.

Denise Harris
Dr. Margaret Chan, the Director General of the World Health Organization argues, “by lobbying against wellVice President, Membership & Programs
Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce & established, widely accepted and evidence-based tobacco control public health policies, the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce undermines its own credibility on other issues” (New York Times). Billionaire British
Convention & Visitors Bureau
Wilbur Jackson
Board of Directors
Silicon Valley Black Chamber

entrepreneur, Richard Branson also agrees to this by publicly stating the Chamber was “on the wrong side of
history” (New York Times).

Judy Kleinberg
President & CEO
Palo Alto Chamber

The Silicon Valley Chamber Coalition serves as a unified voice on local, regional, state, and federal legislative
issues that affect business, the economy and the quality of life. We actively promote and encourage people to
live a longer and healthier life. It is our responsibility to safeguard people’s health; however the U.S. Chamber’s
campaign does not reflect that, even though you state your goal of improving the quality of health care.

Zack Marks
Executive Director
Los Gatos Chamber
Julie Rose
President
Los Altos Chamber
Gary Smith
Legislative Chair
Saratoga Chamber
Steve Van Dorn
Corporate Affairs Manager,
Silicon Valley/Bay Area
California Chamber of Commerce

We strongly urge you to reconsider your campaign against anti-smoking restrictions.

Sincerely,

Matthew R. Mahood
Chair

Silicon Valley Chamber Coalition | 101 W. Santa Clara St. | San Jose, CA 95113 | 408-291-5250 | svchambercoalition.org