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Highlights

In the 1990s, states sued major tobacco companies to obtain reimbursement for health impairments caused by the public's use of tobacco. In 1998, four of the nation's largest tobacco companies signed a Master Settlement Agreement, agreeing to make annual payments to 46 states in perpetuity as reimbursement for past tobacco-related health care costs. Some states have arranged to receive advance proceeds based on the amounts that tobacco companies owe by issuing bonds backed by future payments. This testimony discusses (1) the amounts of tobacco settlement payments that the states received from fiscal years 2000 through 2005, the most recent year for which GAO has actual data, and (2) the states' allocations of these payments. We also include states' projected fiscal year 2006 allocations. The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 required GAO to report annually, through fiscal year 2006, on how states used the payments made by tobacco companies. GAO based this testimony on five annual surveys of these 46 states' Master Settlement Agreement payments and how they allocated these payments.

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