Tobacco Owes Mississippi

  • Share
  • Read Later

JACKSON, Miss: "I'm leaving Washington shortly to bring home some mighty good news," said a very pleased Mississippi Attorney General Michael Moore, announcing a $3 billion settlement with the tobacco industry to defray his state's costs in treating smokers. The settlement came just days before Moore was to set to take the cigarette industry to trial in Mississippi. The deal is separate from the $368.5 billion national settlement reached with the industry July 20, in which Moore acted as lead negotiator for several states. In his original lawsuit, filed in 1994, Moore sought $940 million for tax funds spend on smoking-related illnesses. At the time, the idea of a state suing the industry for health costs struck many as a bit of a reach. Having reeled in the national settlement, Moore clearly had the attention of the companies when they finally sat down to settle Mississippi's grievance.