$76 million to Oklahoma in latest tobacco settlement payment

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma has received $76 million in the latest annual payment from the tobacco industry as part of a 1999 settlement of a lawsuit against tobacco companies.

State Treasurer Ken Miller said Wednesday that $57 million goes to the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund and the remainder to a fund for health care-related projects and to the state attorney general’s evidence fund.

The state trust fund was created by a constitutional amendment approved by voters and only earnings from the fund may be spent. Miller says the fund now has just more than $1 billion.

Oklahoma was among numerous states that sued tobacco companies, seeking both restraints against the industry and monetary damages for money spent to treat smoking-related illnesses.

The payments are to continue as long as cigarettes are sold.

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