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Iowa receives $71 million in annual tobacco payment

This news story was published on April 21, 2014.
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cigsDES MOINES – Tobacco companies involved in the 1998 landmark settlement with states over tobacco-related health care costs transferred more than $71 million this week in their annual payment to Iowa.

The tobacco companies remitted a regular annual Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) payment to Iowa of more than $54 million, and an additional “Strategic Contribution Fund” payment of more than $17.5 million, for a total payment of more than $71.6 million.

The payment includes a $6 million tobacco arbitration judgment from September. In that case, cigarette manufacturers claimed that Iowa did not diligently enforce its tobacco statutes in 2003, as required under the settlement. A unanimous three-judge panel sided with Iowa.

“Our office carefully monitors and aggressively enforces this agreement so Iowa gets its fair share of the settlement,” Miller said. “We continue to hold tobacco companies accountable under the agreement, and we continue to fight the public health battle.”

Since 2008, Iowa has received additional annual Strategic Contribution Fund payments because of the roles of Attorney General Tom Miller and his staff in negotiating and reaching the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) with tobacco companies. Those additional payments to Iowa have totaled more than $133 million.

Since 1999, when tobacco companies sent their first MSA payments to the states, Iowa has received $960,275,103 in both regular and additional payments.

In 1998, Miller and attorneys general of 45 states signed the MSA with the nation’s four largest tobacco companies to settle state suits to recover billions of dollars in state health care costs associated with treating smoking-related illnesses. Since then, more than 40 other tobacco companies have signed onto the agreement.

The MSA called for tobacco companies to pay the 46 states $206 billion over 25 years, and continue annual payments beyond 25 years based on the number of cigarettes sold in the United States. The MSA is the largest settlement in U.S. history.

The MSA created a broad array of restrictions on the advertising, marketing and promotion of cigarettes. For example, it bans targeting children through advertising. It also includes prohibitions on outdoor advertising of cigarettes and the advertising of cigarettes in public transit facilities, as well as the use of cigarette brand names on merchandise, and a host of other restrictions.

The central purpose of the MSA was to reduce smoking, and particularly youth smoking in the United States. Since it was announced, cigarette sales in the United States have fallen substantially and youth smoking has declined even more.

Despite these gains, tobacco remains the number one cause of preventable death in the United States.

“As long as tobacco companies sell their products in Iowa, we’ll work hard to reduce smoking, tobacco-related diseases and tobacco-related deaths,” Miller said.

Miller is a member of the Board of Directors of the Legacy Foundation, the largest non-profit public health charity in the nation devoted specifically to tobacco control. The Legacy Foundation was formed as a result of the MSA.


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12 Responses to Iowa receives $71 million in annual tobacco payment

  1. Avatar

    Brosephus Reply Report comment

    April 22, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Now tell me again how we aren’t all drug dealers? Cigs kill more people than all illegal drugs combined and we take money from it. That makes us ALL drug dealers so get off your high horse.

    • Avatar

      LVS Reply Report comment

      April 22, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      @Bro-What the hell does that have to do with this article?

  2. Avatar

    LVS Reply Report comment

    April 22, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Gotta ask, where did all the money go. I sure have not seen any of it other than a few bill boards and ad’s on T.V. from time to time that no one pays any attention to. I remember when I was quitting smoking and applied for help on the help line and they sent me $10 worth of nicotine gum. Big whoopee.

    • Allen

      Allen Reply Report comment

      April 22, 2014 at 10:47 am

      You can bet with that amount of money, some of it is going into somebodies pockets.

    • Avatar

      Brosephus Reply Report comment

      April 22, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      The money goes into the general fund. It is our cut of the profits from legal drug sales.

    • Mediator

      Mediator Reply Report comment

      April 22, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      This morning in the County Supervisor’s meeting there were two women asking the Supervisors to approve a ban on all forms of nicotine and tobacco advertising and use at the North Iowa Events center. While they work for the health department, their titles involved tobacco, so I’m guessing some of that money is paying their wages.

      If it’s providing jobs all through the state, is that a good use in your eyes, LVS?

      • Avatar

        Brosephus Reply Report comment

        April 22, 2014 at 2:45 pm

        Just think of all the jobs we can create when we make it illegal. There’s cops, jails, prisons, lawyers, all the same people who make bank over the pot war.

      • Avatar

        LVS Reply Report comment

        April 22, 2014 at 3:40 pm

        @Mediator-If the work for the County Health Department they are paid with COUNTY money. The county may or I may not apply for grants on this issue. I don’t know and neither do you but I can find out and maybe you should too before you shoot off your mouth about something you don’t know about. Just because you ran for supervisor before and didn’t make it doesn’t make you a expert. You are probably going to end up like your buddy, a three time loser.

        • Mediator

          Mediator Reply Report comment

          April 22, 2014 at 5:37 pm

          If you felt like I was attacking you, I apologize as that wasn’t my intent. I wanted to know your opinion as if we were discussing things as any friends would. Some might not think that’s a good use of the money.

          The county gets money for many projects/grants. Employees are sometimes paid by the county but the money isn’t from county taxes but grants which the county administrates. Some employees work part time for more than one department and total up to a full time employee.

          • Avatar


            April 22, 2014 at 5:47 pm

            You never apologize to a bully. Holy crap, grow a pair. Do you even lift bro?

          • Avatar


            April 22, 2014 at 6:28 pm

            @mediator-sorry. I had a rough day and I thought you were being a smart guy like some of the trolls that are on here. I get a little defensive sometimes. You are correct in that they apply for and receive grants all of the time. The Cerro Gordo County Heath Department does a very good job and saves the taxpayers a lot of money with their efforts.

          • Mediator


            April 22, 2014 at 8:09 pm

            @LVS, I understand how that can go. I hope your day is getting better.