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Consumer News Release

For immediate release -- April 17, 2000.
Contact Bob Brammer - 515-281-6699

Iowa Receives $31 Million from Tobacco Industry Today

Miller says total received since December is $71,173,654.58. He applauds creation of comprehensive plan to reduce tobacco death and disease.

Statement from Attorney General Tom Miller:

I am very pleased to announce that Iowa today is receiving another $30,997,907.01 from the tobacco industry, our third payment since December, bringing the total payments so far to $71,173,654.58.

Perhaps even more important, I am elated that a significant portion of those funds will be dedicated to reducing the terrible toll of addiction, disease and death caused by tobacco. Since the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement was finalized on Nov. 23, 1998, 571 days ago, almost 17,000 young Iowans have taken up smoking (1000 per month), according to CDC estimates, and about one-third of them will die prematurely from tobacco-related disease. Almost 7,000 Iowans have died of such disease over the last seventeen months. Now we are poised to start reducing that death toll and financial drain on families and taxpayers.

The comprehensive plan that is very close to final legislative approval holds strong promise to help us turn the corner. Tobacco and nicotine are extraordinarily addictive, but we do have means to counteract them, especially by focusing on vulnerable young Iowans.

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