October 28, 2015
By Tara Jessup
New York, NY – A settlement agreement has been reached releasing $550 million belonging to New Yorkers between the state and the major tobacco companies. The agreement leverages the Attorney General’s recent victory in a related arbitration.
This permanently address serious issues that have prevented disbursement of funds owed to New Yorkers following the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), which requires the companies to compensate the 52 states and territories.“Big Tobacco must pay for the damage it has done and continues to inflict on communities across New York State,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “My office will continue to hold these companies accountable for the burden their addictive, deadly products impose on the taxpayers of this state, and we will act to ensure that the people of New York are compensated for the enormous harms they have suffered. Today’s announcement is long overdue, but sure to be welcomed by communities and municipalities across our state.
”The agreement settles all issues concerning past annual payments. Approximately $550 million will be provided to NYS. The state, New York City, and the counties outside the city, will receive their portions of these funds. Roughly half will go to New York State, one-quarter to New York City, and one quarter to the other counties."For too long, New Yorkers have been paying the price for the harm tobacco use has on human health. In New York City, we're aggressively working to ensure New Yorkers know the truth about the damaging effects of tobacco.
Meanwhile, big tobacco companies have abused the legal system to avoid giving New Yorkers the money they're owed for the health costs resulting from cigarette smoking. I applaud Attorney General Schneiderman for standing up to big tobacco and making them pay," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.