Debate and Issues Index

draft settlement

Bill Godshall's Analysis

Instead of achieving the Attorneys General stated goals of protecting children from tobacco and reimbursing states for Medicaid costs imposed by tobacco, the tobacco industry's proposal to the state AGs would grant the industry outrageous and unprecedented protections, as it:

- Preempts state (and local) lawsuits to redress all past industry misconduct on tobacco smoke pollution (ETS), even though ETS wasn't a cause for action in any of the state lawsuits. Section II (nn)(1)(B)

- Preempts state (and local) lawsuits to redress past misconduct by industry executives, attorneys, agents, advertisers, distributors, retailers, etc, even though none are defendants in the current lawsuits. Section II (oo)

- Preempts local government lawsuits to redress past industry misconduct, even though local governments aren't plaintiffs in any of the state lawsuits. Section II (pp)

- Allows tobacco companies to continue marketing to children as long as that's not their "primary" purpose. Section III (a)

- Allows tobacco products to continue remaining easily accessible to children via cigarette vending machines and self service displays.

- Implicitly requires states to enact laws that criminalize youth for the possession or purchase of tobacco, and defines nonadults as underage. Section II "Adult","Underage"

- Fails to collect any financial damages for past industry misconduct, and requires taxpayers to pay the overwhelming majority of future state and local government costs imposed by tobacco products. Section IX Payments

- Provides no incentives for tobacco companies to market less addicting or less hazardous products.

Please expose and oppose the tobacco industry's protection proposal. Most state Attorneys General can attain settlements with tobacco companies that truly protect the interests of taxpayers and public health.