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Kentucky receives millions in tobacco settlement money

Kentucky Press News Service

FRANKFORT -- Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Thursday that Kentucky received more than $93.4 million in tobacco settlement money this week.

Since 1998, tobacco companies have had to compensate states for some of the medical costs associated with tobacco-related illnesses and restrict advertising and promotion of cigarettes in the United States.

The payments are determined according to a formula calculated, in part, by the number of cigarettes sold by companies that agreed to join the settlement.

Under the Master Settlement Agreement, the tobacco companies agreed to make annual payments, in perpetuity, worth approximately $208 billion to states and territories that are signatories to the agreement.

Each state determines how the MSA funds are distributed and spent.

In Kentucky, the General Assembly has designated half of the MSA funds be invested in agricultural diversification through grants issued by the Governor's Office of Agriculture Policy, which administers the Kentucky Agriculture Development Fund.

The Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee oversees the determinations on grant applications from the agricultural fund. Kentucky's additional MSA revenues are used to help improve the health outcomes of Kentucky children and families.

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