(INDIANAPOLIS) – Indiana has secured $130.4 million from tobacco product manufacturers this year under the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, Attorney General Curtis Hill announced today.
“Our office works diligently to enforce the terms of this settlement,” Attorney General Hill said. “Our efforts in this regard are directly responsible for our ability to maintain the maximum levels of funding available to our state. This revenue supports Indiana’s continued battle to help people stop smoking and to prevent our youth from ever starting down that dangerous path in the first place.”
Since the inception of this settlement agreement in 1998, Indiana has now received a total of $2.78 billion. Under the agreement, the state will continue to receive payments in perpetuity, as long as the tobacco manufacturers continue selling cigarettes in Indiana.
“More than 11,000 Hoosiers die each year from conditions caused by smoking,” Attorney General Hill said. “With Indiana remaining above the national average in percentage of smokers, we must keep working to become a healthier state.”
The attorneys general of 46 states and six U.S. territories originally participated in the settlement agreement. The settlement agreement resolved lawsuits against the four largest tobacco manufacturers that aimed to recover billions of dollars in state health care costs due to smoking-related illnesses. The funds received by Indiana under the settlement agreement are deposited into the General Fund and then disbursed by the General Assembly with an emphasis on programs aimed at protecting and improving Hoosiers’ health.
The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement remains the largest civil settlement in U.S. history. Beyond the monetary damages, the settlement agreement also imposes restrictions on the advertising, marketing, and promotion of tobacco products.
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General is responsible for monitoring compliance with the payment provisions in the settlement agreement; enforcing restrictions placed upon the tobacco industry in the areas of marketing, advertising, promotions, and sponsorship; working to make current laws dealing with tobacco issues work more effectively; decreasing the incidence of youth smoking; and defending the settlement agreement and other tobacco legislation against court challenges. The office is also responsible for maintaining a participating manufacturer brand directory, which lists all of the brands/styles of cigarettes under the settlement agreement that can be sold in the State of Indiana. The office also maintains a non-participating manufacturer brand directory that contains the same information for those tobacco manufacturers that are not part of the settlement agreement.
For more information on quitting smoking, call Indiana’s Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QuitNow.