Jul. 3 1997
Washington, DC - Today’s settlement between Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore and the tobacco industry ensures that the State of Mississippi will receive payment for the significant expenses it has incurred in connection with tobacco-caused disease. The settlement is remarkable in that it marks the first time in history that the tobacco industry has paid for the damages inflicted by its addictive, deadly products. While Mississippi’s settlement is a step forward, only a national, federally-mandated policy can go beyond what states may be able to achieve individually, and drive down youth smoking rates and save lives throughout the entire United States. While still a work in progress, elements of the current tobacco proposal spearheaded by Attorney General Moore are critical to reducing youth access to tobacco, providing resources for cessation programs, curbing tobacco marketing, and ensuring funding for a sustained public education and counter advertising campaign, among other notable goals. Attorney General Moore’s commitment to serving the citizens of Mississippi is to be applauded. The $3.36 billion that the tobacco industry has agreed to pay Mississippi represents the State’s share of its payment as outlined in the $368.5 billion national tobacco proposal. We encourage Attorney General Moore to continue his work as a champion for children’s lives, and to forge ahead to ensure that a national tobacco proposal will become a legislative reality in the near future.