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.
For more information on quitting smoking, call Indiana’s Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QuitNow.