The four largest tobacco
companies involved in the 1998 landmark settlement with states over
tobacco-related health care costs this week transferred more than $65 million
to the state treasury in their annual payment to Iowa, Attorney General Tom
Miller announced Thursday.
Since 1999 Iowa has received more than $888
million in settlement payments. The agreement, which established a broad array
of restrictions on the advertising, marketing and promotion of cigarettes,
required the companies to pay 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. President Barack Obama earlier this month called
for a 94-cent increase in the federal tax on cigarettes.
A study by
the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the annual cost
of smoking at $193 billion in direct medical payments and lost productivity.