Clinton reform plan (1994)
As a part of the 1993 Clinton health reform plan, there was a suggestion to increase the excise taxes on cigarettes from 24c per pack to 99c, the so called "monster-tax".
The industry answered with the "monster op-ed" round, by setting up PR-firm APCO, and some more activities less relevant for the this story.
There also was an 'open letter' from the Independent Institute. It is not clear who ordered the letter, but no less than 52 economists from the economists' network signed the Open Letter to President Clinton on Healthcare Reform. It won't come as a surprise the letter draws the 'taxes' card. And is quite hysterical.
It may or may not be a coincidence so many of the social cost economists are affiliated one way or another with the Independent Institute. And it may or may not be a coincidence the letter fits the tobacco industry's social cost program.
Detaxing America (1995)
In the 1980's and early 1990's, the industry paid economist to appear at economic meetings. It seems later on the industry simply organized its own conferences with think tanks acting as a cover.
In 1995, the Independent Institute organized the conference Detaxing America to promote the forthcoming book written by William F. Shughart II
Following tobacco economists attended the conference: William Shughart II, Bruce L. Benson, Dwight R. Lee, Robert Ekelund Jr., Gary M. Anderson, Richard Vedder and Mark Thornton
7 of the 17 invited speakers were members of Tollison's illegal social cost network. With several of the 13 other speakers (p. ex. DiLorenzo and Tullock) also being paid by the tobacco industry, but in other lobby-programs.
No, "Independent Institute" doesn't seem the best possible name to describe that think tank.
Books by the Independent Institute
The Independent Institute published several books and reports written by tobacco lobbyists. But even when the tobacco economists weren't the first author of a publication, they still were around.
1994 : William Mitchell and Randy Simmons, Beyond Politics (foreword by Gordon Tullock)
David J. Theroux of the Independent Institute wrote a letter to Tobacco Institute
Quite a strange move for an “Independent” Institute, no ?
1995: Donald J Boudreaux and Adam Pritchard : Civil Forefeiture As A Tax. The authors thank 6 people for "instructive discussion and comments", four of them being tobacco economists : Bruce Benson, Dwight Lee, William Shughart and Bruce Yandle.
1995: William F. Shughart: The economics of excise taxation
1996 : Richard Vedder and Lowell E. Gallaway : The Melting Pot.
1997: William F. Shughart (ed): Taxing choice: The predatory politics of fiscal discrimination
Including Shughart, at least 7 of the 18 authors have been paid by the Tobacco Institute. Probably not a surprise, as already in 1994 David J. Theroux of the Independent Institute contacted the Tobacco Institute about the book, draft title Sin Taxes
Dr. Robert Higgs was one of the people asked by the Tobacco Institute in 1996 to write op-eds against FDA-regulations Shughart was one of the most active members in the network of social cost consultants.
And to promote the book:
2000: Dominick Armentano: Antitrust and monopoly
2000: Roger Meiners and Bruce Yandle : Regulation and the Reagan Era
The foreword of this book was written by Robert Crandall, another tobacco lobbyist (and then brother in law of S. Fred Singer).
The industry also used think tankers outside the social cost network to work for them. Another Independent Institute economist, Canadian Pierre Lemieux (also involved in the pro-tobacco group FORCES) wrote the book "Smoking and Liberty: Government as a Public Health Problem"and a whole lot of smaller texts, listed on his website on a page he titled Smoking, Liberty and Health Fascism. His extremist titles and views may be a reason the industry didn't use him more often.
This document suggests there also might have been a (small) Canadian network. I did not explore it any further. The John Luik in the document was twice fired from universities for being dishonest. His former Dean stated