OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - State Treasurer Ken Miller announced Monday that the state received $77.18 million in annual payments from the tobacco industry.
Oklahoma has now received a total of $1.16 billion since payments began in 1999 under the national Master Settlement Agreement.
“This money is being invested to generate funding for the vital work supported by the tobacco trust, including cancer research and combating tobacco addiction,” said Miller, who chairs the trust fund’s board of investors. “Oklahomans wisely voted to ensure these funds are protected to generate investment income to improve the quality of life for our people.”
The Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund was created by a voter-approved constitutional amendment in 2000.
The fund is for health programs, particularly children and senior adults.
In August 1996, Oklahoma became the 14th state to file a lawsuit against the tobacco companies, asking for restraints against the industry and monetary damages for state funds spent treating smoking-related illnesses.
The national Master Settlement Agreement, announced in November 1998, imposed sweeping changes in tobacco advertising, banned tobacco companies from targeting children, allocated funding for tobacco education efforts and provided annual payments based on the number of cigarettes sold in the country. Payments will continue as long as cigarettes are sold.
Payments will continue as long as cigarettes are sold.