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Attorney General announces more than $112 million in annual tobacco settlement funds for Kentucky

Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced Wednesday that Kentucky received $112,659,718.88 million in the 2020 annual tobacco settlement payment from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA).

“Funds from the MSA support important programs throughout the Commonwealth, including agricultural diversification initiatives and health and education programs,” said Cameron. “Since signing the agreement, Kentucky has received more than $2.2 billion from tobacco manufacturers, and it’s our job to ensure that these manufacturers continue to comply with the terms set forth in the MSA.”

Daniel Cameron

The Office of the Attorney General executes the terms of the MSA and related statutes on behalf of the Commonwealth through the MSA Compliance Advisory Board and national efforts with other Attorneys General nationwide. Pursuant to KRS 15.300, the MSA Compliance Advisory Board works to secure training for state agencies charged with reporting violations of the MSA and refer violations of the agreement to the Attorney General for enforcement.

In 1998, Kentucky signed the Tobacco MSA, joining 52 states and territories in a historic agreement with major cigarette manufacturing companies. The settlement was reached following state lawsuits against major tobacco companies for Medicaid costs related to smoking.

Each state determines how the funds will be used. In addition to obtaining annual compensation for tobacco related-medical costs, the MSA seeks to reduce underage smoking and to decrease the number of new smokers.

Under the terms of the agreement, tobacco manufacturer signatories agree to make payments based on an annually adjusted rate per number of cigarettes sold each year. Payments will continue to be made to the Commonwealth as long as the participating manufacturers sell cigarettes.

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In Kentucky, the General Assembly has allocated half of the MSA funds specifically for agricultural diversification through grants distributed by the Office of Agricultural Policy.

The Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee oversees all agricultural grant application decisions in addition to monitoring expenditures under the early childhood development fund and the Kentucky health care improvement fund.

Assistant Attorney General Michael Plumley administers the MSA for the Office of the Attorney General, ensuring that Kentucky gets its share of valuable funds from the agreement.

To learn more, visit ag.ky.gov.

From Office of Attorney General Daniel Cameron

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