Matrix of Interests Groups.

Essay by Katherine CruzUniversity, Bachelor's June 2004

download word file, 5 pages 1.0


An interest group is any organization that seeks to influence public policy. Interest groups are found in many societies, but there is an unusually large number of them in the United States. Interest groups attempt to influence policy by supplying public officials with things they want. These things include: (1) Credible information, (2) Public support and (3) Money. This paper will discuss my special interests of second hand smoke (SHS) and birth control issues.

Second Hand Smoke

Second hand smoke (SHS) is the third leading cause of preventable death in this country, killing 53,000 nonsmokers in the U.S. each year. For every eight smokers the tobacco industry kills, it takes one nonsmoker with them.

In July 1998 William Osteen, the U.S. District Court Judge, former lobbyist for the tobacco farmers, ruled that a 1993 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report was incorrect about second hand smoke. According to the judge, the EPA report did not prove that second hand smoke put people at risk of getting lung cancer.

Stated by the Environmental Protection Agency:

Secondhand smoke is also known as Environmental Tobacco Smoke. Secondhand smoke includes both exhaled mainstream smoke from smokers and sidestream smoke from the end of a cigarette, cigar, or pipe. Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 substances, including over 50 compounds that have been identified as carcinogens. Many of the compounds in tobacco smoke are released at higher rates in sidestream smoke than in mainstream smoke (EPA, 2004).

Following came the law suites from the tobacco companies, suing EPA in federal court in Greensboro, N.C.--the heart of tobacco country. Now guess who sat in the judge's chair? Yes, you guessed it, Judge Osteen, a former lobbyist for tobacco farmers.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association: "More than half of the studies in...