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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 1997
AG applauds Florida tobacco settlement and urges swift action on national settlement


Olympia- August 25, 1997 - Attorney General Christine Gregoire said today that Florida’s $11.3 billion tobacco settlement underscores the need to move forward on a global settlement to ensure the same benefits won for children and adults in Florida will apply nationwide.

Gregoire applauds Florida’s Governor Lawton Chiles and Attorney General Bob Butterworth for their persistence in getting tobacco companies to accept advertising restrictions similar to those called for in the national agreement between state Attorneys General and the industry.

"Florida's victory gives more momentum to the push for a national settlement," said Gregoire. "A global settlement ensures the Florida's newly won authority to stop tobacco ads that specifically target children, would apply in Washington and every other state."

Without the national settlement, the Food and Drug Administration would not have authority to regulate nicotine in tobacco products. In addition, the fact that Mississippi and Florida have settled their cases out-of-court does not mean the same would be true for other states with suits against the industry.

"The industry is looking at the settlement option only in states where the cases are on the verge trial," said Gregoire. "If the national settlement fails to win Congressional approval, there is no guarantee big tobacco companies will settle with any other state."


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