Iowa Receives $35 Million from Tobacco Industry Today
Miller says the total received now tops $125 million.
Attorney General Tom Miller said the tobacco industry is wiring $35,485,025.34 to the State of Iowa today - the latest installment of payments to Iowa that are scheduled to total about $2 billion by the year 2025.
The tobacco companies must make payments by January 10 and April 15 each year; the latter payment is arriving today because April 15 fell on a Sunday. The earlier payment was $19 million. Miller said Iowa now has received $125,693,944.76 from the tobacco industry since late1998.
The payments are scheduled under terms of the Master Settlement Agreement that resolved lawsuits filed against the tobacco companies by Miller and other state attorneys general. The companies also agreed to drastically change their marketing practices under terms of the Agreement, which was reached November 23, 1998. The companies no longer may market to children, must not use billboards or most other outdoor advertising, must not use "Joe Camel" or any other cartoons in tobacco advertising, and so on. The companies also agreed to pay the states over $200 billion through the year 2025, and to continue making payments in perpetuity after that.
"I strongly support continuing to spend a significant part of our tobacco money to solve our tobacco problems," Miller said. "We need to do everything we can to keep kids from becoming addicted to cigarettes and then suffering premature disease and death. About a thousand Iowa kids take up smoking each month, and five thousand Iowans die each year as a result of tobacco-related disease," he said. "Fourteen Iowans will die today from tobacco-caused disease. That's completely unacceptable, but it's something we can change if we really go to work to solve the problem."
"Iowa is mobilizing effective programs all over the state, including very strong local involvement and participation by the young people who are most affected by this issue. Other states have proved that such programs work, save money, save lives, and avoid suffering. We need to keep moving forward," Miller said.
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