View Full Version : Tobacco companies settlements

05-23-1999, 02:02 PM
We've all heard about the huge settlements against the tobacco industry and how that money will go towards (I beleive) scholarships and education. My question is: Is it a general slush fund for each particular state to set up for scholarship info which the state distributes or what?

I am not the boss of my house. I don't know when I lost it. I don't know that I ever had it. But I have seen the bosses job and I do not want it. - Bill Cosby

05-23-1999, 02:27 PM
I don't know about elsewhere, but I think almost all the money from settlements in California go to the State Health Dept. They use the money on alarmist advertising that even I, who holds tobacco companies and their product in the lowest regard, find reprehensible. Every day on my way to work I pass a CDoH billboard that proclaims: "500,000,000 people alive today will die from tobacco" There is also a commercial with a woman who smokes through her trachia. Also prominant are Malboro-like ads where the cowboys say things like "Bob, I've got emphaziema!"

Education is one thing, but scaring people into beleiving that anyone who even, so much as, looks at a cigarette is going to die a horrible death is just propaganda. They also have ads aimed at children that encourage them to tell their smoking parents that not only are they killing themselves but also their children (second hand smoke). This smacks of the Soviet Pioneer Scouts who were encouraged to turn in their "reactionary" parents.

The state is hypocritically using the same misleading advertising tactics that the tobacco industry used for years. I suspect their statistical data is as skewed as any of the manipulated numbers the industry used to use to deny that their product had any ill efects.

Sorry. I didn't mean to go off on a rant.

05-23-1999, 02:43 PM
The tobacco settlement money was handed out to the states with no strings attached regarding how each state could spend it. Trying to attach such strings would probably have prevented the settlement from occurring in the first place, as the states that were parties to the settlement were not in agreement as to how the settlement money should be spent. There's a kind of understanding that the money should probably be spent on health or public-education issues, since the settlement itself was to deal with claims arising from cigarette addiction and the resulting higher costs of health care. But there's no requirement that the money be spent in these fields, and I imagine the tobacco companies would be just as happy if it is NOT spent in these fields. But the bottom line is that each state will determine how to spend its share of the settlement. In my state, the biggest debate in the recent legislative session was how to spend "our" settlement money; some people wanted it spent as "tax relief" (i.e., just write every citizen a check), while the state government insisted it should go to health and education issues, since that's why we got the money in the first place. The government won in the end, BTW. But maybe your state has ear-marked a certain number of dollars for scholarships? My state has not.

"Outside a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog it's too dark to read." Grouch Marx

05-23-1999, 11:33 PM
Hey, jodih . . .

You might wanna fix your signature. Grouch Marx doesn't really ring a bell. :)

05-25-1999, 03:09 PM
Oh, how embarrassing -- thanks for the tip. :D

06-08-1999, 02:49 PM
I just hope it doesn't go for corporate welfare and tax breaks for companies like Philip Morris.

"Look at me: I worked my way up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty." --Groucho Marx