The state of Connecticut, along with 21 other states in the country, are being awarded a partial settlement from the Big Tobacco company from a dispute filed in 2006 over a lawsuit settlement which was made back in 1998 with the company. The state of Connecticut, will not only be receiving the annual payments from the tobacco company, like the other states, but they will also be receiving $63 million by 2014 in dispute payments. Another $260 million was promised to these states in the future years in the event that the states don't overcome the litigation that arises from tobacco sales between the years of 2003 and 2014.
The original lawsuit which was filed in 1998 was with 48 states in the U.S. claiming that the tobacco companies were well aware of the dangers of smoking when they sold their products. This suit also addressed the fact that the tobacco industry was causing the states to lose money in their health care systems because of these present health hazards of smoking. Since that time, the different states have collected a total of $246 billion in a settlement, the state of Connecticut receiving $1.8 billion of the total.
The concern now, aside from the ongoing litigation, is the fact that the states are not spending nearly enough of that money for anti-smoking campaigns as they had stated. According to research bit the Yankee Institute for Public Policy, the state of Connecticut has only used two percent for these anti-smoking programs in the state. According to State Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, D-West Hartford, the fact that the state spent so little of the money on anti-smoking was outrageous. He sought to propose a bill that at least 33 percent of the funds be used for this purpose, though his bill was entirely denied.