Attorney general announces Big Tobacco settlement
Nov 17, 2020
BUTTE, Mont. — Monday morning, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced what he called a historical consumer protection settlement against Big Tobacco.
Fox said Big Tobacco will pay back Montana all the funds previously withheld to date, plus interest. The total amount came to $53.5 million and stood next to Fox in the form of a giant check.
With the settlement, Fox said Big Tobacco also guaranteed to pay the Montana government for the next 10 years with no withholdings.
"For the deceptions of the harm of cigarette smoke, for targeting youth -- Montana youth -- as replacement smokers and for leading Montana to bear the health care cost for a product that kills half of all long-term users," said Fox.
Settlement funds will go to the Department of Health and Human Services and Montana health care programs.
In 2017, roughly 33% of Montana high school youth reported using any tobacco products. Currently, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disability in the U.S., costing $170 billion nationally in direct medical bills, according to the Centers for Disease Control.