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AG Nessel announces annual payment from tobacco industry settlement

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today that the state is receiving more than $312 million as part of an ongoing 1998 settlement with major tobacco companies.

Nessel sent a letter to leaders of the Michigan Legislature and Gov. Whitmer announcing the payment, which is provided annually through the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA).

In 1995, Michigan and several other states filed lawsuits against major domestic tobacco companies for allegedly misleading the public about the dangers of tobacco.

Three years later, the companies entered into the MSA with 46 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and four territories.

In exchange, the states and other plaintiffs dropped their claims and the tobacco companies agreed to make annual settlement payments in perpetuity, fund a national foundation devoted to public education about the dangers of tobacco use, and adhere to certain restrictions of their advertising, marketing and other practices.

“Since the MSA’s signing, cigarette sales have decreased more than 20 percent nationally and there’s greater understanding of tobacco’s harmful effects,” Nessel said. “This ongoing settlement not only means a significant amount of money for Michigan each year, it also serves as ongoing accountability for the tobacco industry and betterment of our country’s health.”

This year’s payment represents a combined total received by the Michigan Department of Treasury Receipts Processing Division and the Trustee for the Michigan Tobacco Settlement Finance Authority.

Last year, Michigan received more than $278 million as part of the settlement.

Michigan has received more than $6.2 billion since the MSA was adopted.

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