Tobacco's Last Puff in Texas

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AUSTIN: In Texas, everything's bigger. Indeed, at around $14.5 billion, the state's settlement with Big Tobacco set to be announced Friday, the day the trial was scheduled to begin is the largest yet. But it should be no surprise that the lawyers are walking tallest of all: They've gleaned a whopping $2.18 billion out of that total for their fees.

Legal leeches aside, Texas is now guaranteed a payout. That wasn't the case when the state was hanging on for its $13 billion share of the fabled $368.5 billion national settlement which President Clinton was still huffing and puffing about Thursday. The only question now is what other conditions will be inked into the deal: Will Texas, like Florida, ban all cigarette billboard advertising? Will the Marlboro Man and the Lone Star state part company after all these years? Click back for details, as Texan Attorney General Dan Morales unveils the cigarette pact later today.