Indiana receives another $130M in tobacco-settlement funds

Indiana has received another $130.4 million from cigarette makers as part of the ongoing payments tied to a master settlement with states that was forged in 1998.

Since the inception of the settlement agreement, Indiana has received a total of $2.78 billion, Attorney General Curtis Hill announced Friday. Under the deal, Indiana will continue to receive payments as long as tobacco manufacturers continue selling cigarettes in the state.

The money is deposited into the state’s general fund. It originally was intended for supporting smoking cessation programs, but legislators also have used it for other purposes as well.

During the recession in the early 2000s, lawmakers started redirecting that settlement funds to other health care programs, freeing up cash for other priorities.

In 2019, Indiana received $136 million from the settlement, but used only $7.5 million of it for the state health department’s Tobacco Prevention and Cessation program, just 10% of the CDC’s recommended spending of $73.5 million.

Indiana was a leader in implementation of 1998’s Master Settlement Agreement, signed by attorneys general from 46 states and six U.S. territories and five of the largest U.S. cigarette companies. Other companies have since joined the settlement.

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