Arkansas Center for Health Improvement

Tobacco Settlement Proceeds Act

As part of the national Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) with major U.S. tobacco companies, in November 1999 Arkansas accepted approximately $62 million per year for 25 years in exchange for an agreement that Arkansas would not sue the tobacco companies for negative health impact or past health care costs caused by tobacco use.

With the possibility that MSA funds could be directed to non-health needs, ACHI’s Health Policy Board commissioned a white paper on the effects of tobacco on the state. The white paper was presented to Arkansas's Governor; Speaker of the House; President Pro Tem of the Senate/Chair of the Senate Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee; and the Chair of the House Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee.

As many in the state sought access to these funds for non-health-related needs, the Coalition for a Healthier Arkansas Today (CHART), coordinated and led by ACHI, was formed to advocate for using these funds for health improvement. CHART designed an integrated program to combat illnesses and prevent diseases related to tobacco use. Through an initiated act campaign, Arkansas voters passed the Tobacco Settlement Proceeds Act of 2000. The act funded the Arkansas Tobacco Settlement Commission and programs including tobacco control and cessation activities, expanded Medicaid services, research in the Arkansas Biosciences Institute, and initiated specific health programs (UAMS College of Public Health, expanded services in the Minority Health Commission, a new Delta Area Health Education Center, and support to sustain the Arkansas Aging Initiative). In addition, moneys from the tobacco settlement provided core funding for the Arkansas Healthy Century Trust Fund.

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Arkansas Center for Health Improvement
1401 West Capitol
Suite 300 (Victory Building)
Little Rock, AR 72201