The CCAA initially advocated that New Mexico not accept the Attorneys General Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) with the tobacco industry, CCAA release 1 | CCAA release 2. After being denied their initial requests, the CCAA continued to study and review the MSA. This settlement is clearly a bad deal for New Mexicans; it is a bad deal for America; and it is a bad deal for America's children. Therefore, on August 20, 1999, the CCAA formally requested New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid to rescind our commitment to the provisions of the settlement agreement, CCAA release 3.
Based on present trends, nearly 13 million Americans will die from tobacco-related illnesses and disease over the first 25 years of the agreement. The settlement is soft on advertising and promotional activities. While it restricts billboard ads, it allows poster-size spots and many promotional activities to continue. Further, the propoganda can be distributed and activities conducted in locations where teens and children gather.
The tobacco industry internal documents show how, during the past two generations, "tobacco companies have targeted children, suppressed scientific research on less-hazardous cigarettes and lied about how deadly and addictive cigarettes are."
The MSA dangled what are incorrectly percieved as "huge monetary incentives" before state leaders, yet these funds do not recover past health and Medicare costs. The funds are also insufficient to cover current state costs, financial analysis; there is no indication that states will be compensated for future social costs, BUTTS About the Tobacco Deal. The MSA financial deal is much smaller that it appears, Calculating State Settlement Revenues.
The CCAA recently completed analysis that shows New Mexico stands to lose over $3.5 billion dollars as well as incur 75,000 deaths due to tobacco-related illnesses and disease over the course of the first 25 years of the MSA, Why New Mexico Must Rescind the MSA....
Teenage CCAA members are particularly upset about the terms of the agreement. Americans currently under the age of 18 are stuck with a 25-yeal deal. Yet, they were not represented in the decision, Teens. Since they are not 18, they have not voted for representatives and leaders. They will live under the terms of the agreement and their children will suffer continued deception and targeting from tobacco companies.
As of April 23, 1999 the settlement requires tobacco companies to discontinue cigarette advertising on billboards. A number of convenience store recently implemented a tobacco product promotional campaign on highway billboards. The CCAA reviews this current debate, Tobacco Billboards.