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Tobacco companies pay Idaho $22.2 million

To date, the 1998 tobacco Master Settlement Agreement brought more than $564 million into the state of Idaho.
Credit: KTVB

BOISE, Idaho —

Tuesday afternoon Idaho Attorney general Lawrence Wasden announced that tobacco companies have paid the state $22.2 million as part of the 1998 tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. 

To date, Idaho has received more than $564 million in settlement payments. 

The settlement originated when dozens of states, including Idaho, sued tobacco companies for their role in causing a decades-long health crisis and forcing states to pay billions in related healthcare costs. Tobacco manufacturers agreed to pay more than $200 billion to participating states in the first 25 years following the settlement. 

"The settlement in 1998 was historic based on its scope and the size of the negotiated payouts," Wasden said. "Idaho continues to receive significant payments from the settlement every year. The money comes with no strings attached and can be spent by the state legislature for any state purpose." 

Payments from the tobacco companies are deposited into the state’s Millennium Fund and a portion of the money is then used in Idaho’s anti-smoking education and outreach programs. 

One of Attorney General Wasden’s roles is to enforce the state’s Master Settlement Agreement with the tobacco companies when they challenge the size of the payments. The office of the Attorney General has a small team of tobacco-related attorneys and support staff in the Consumer Protection Division. 

The amount tobacco manufacturers must pay the states each year is primarily calculated by the number of cigarettes sold. This year, tobacco companies are required to pay states a total of $6.6 billion.

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