C’mon Matt, you didn’t really think it was all coincidence? Of course the Tobacco companies pay for placement. They also pay govt to not legislate away from this third party advertising practice.
Similarly drug and chemical companies influence curriculums and research in Universities.
This is not new but I commend you taking the time to write about it.
The real question is; how do we ‘the people’ impose our will in law when the power to make/change law is vested in the few who are either directly involved with or effectively controlled by those who in effect become their corporate masters?
We don’t live in Democracies we live in Coincidental Democracies TM — yes that’s my term :)
That is where it feels (and is deemed) that we have democracy but in actuality that is only where what we want and what the vested corporate interests want align at a specific point in time — coincidence. Where it doesn’t align we do not get laws that we the people want.