NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The States Have Plans For Tobacco Settlement Money

August 24, 1999

Few states plan to use significant amounts of the money they will get from last year's tobacco settlement on anti-smoking campaigns, according to a survey to be released today by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the American Heart Association. Most states are contemplating a wide variety of spending initiatives.

Under the settlement, 46 states will divide up $206 billion. Four states that reached earlier agreements with the industry had already begun receiving payments.

  • Michigan wants to use a sizable portion of its money to support scholarships and research at local universities.
  • Connecticut plans to cut taxes, while North Dakota wants to pay for flood control projects.
  • Of the 26 states that have taken action on initial settlement payments, only five-- Hawaii, Maryland, Vermont, New Jersey and Washington -- have earmarked a significant portion for stop-smoking campaigns, according to anti-tobacco activists.

Ten other states have dedicated smaller sums to such activities, while the 11 remaining states have decided either to spend no settlement money on tobacco control or will put the money into funds for possible future use in anti-smoking efforts.

While the settlements don't place any restrictions on how states actually use their proceeds, states allocating their funds to projects other than anti-smoking campaigns have raised the ire of anti-tobacco activists.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that to implement effective anti-smoking programs, states, depending on their size, should spend between $5 and $20 per capita annually.

Source: Gordon Fairclough, "States Are Planning Assorted Uses for Tobacco-Settlement Funds," Wall Street Journal, August 24, 1999.

 

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