Iowa Receives $19 Million from Tobacco Industry on FridayMiller says the total received since late last year is $90 million.
Attorney General Tom Miller said the tobacco industry is wiring $19,035,264.84 million 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 industry will make another, larger payment by April 15. The tobacco companies must make payments by January 10 and April 15 each year, but the January payment is arriving today.
Miller said Iowa now has received $90 million from the tobacco industry since late last year. A total of over $71 million was received in December 1999 and April 2000.
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. "That's completely unacceptable, but it's something
we can change if we really go to work to solve the problem."
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[Editor's note from Bob Brammer:]
This news release originally had a headline of "Iowa Receives $18 million from tobacco industry" because we anticipated a wire transfer of a little less than $19 million on 12/29/00. The actual amount wired was slightly higher, $19,035,264.84, and the news release was amended accordingly.