That’s the latest claim from George Washington University Law professor John Banzhaf.   Banzhaf has a reputation for pursuing frivolous lawsuits and making whacky claims.  The latest is no exception:

Those who believe the Tea Party is a grassroots movement inspired by higher taxes as its name implies will be surprised to learn that it actually developed in part as a result of efforts by the U.S. tobacco industry to oppose the nonsmokers’ rights movement in the 1980s, says the lawyer who started the movement by getting smoking restricted and then banned on airplanes and buses, and then in workplaces and public places both here and abroad.

A well-documented peer-reviewed study, funded by the National Cancer Institute and appearing in a just-released scientific journal, documents how nonprofit organizations closely associated with the Tea Party have longstanding ties to major tobacco companies, and continue to mouth tobacco industry objections to bans on smoking and to taxes on cigarettes.

Who knew that supporting limited government and individual liberty makes you a tool of Big Tobacco?