Michigan Getting More Tobacco Settlement Money

By: Lori Dougovito
By: Lori Dougovito

In 1998, Michigan and 45 other states won a monumental settlement after taking on tobacco companies seeking money for damages. To date, Michigan has received $1.7 billion, and $271 million has now been added to that amount thanks to the most recent payment.

The money goes directly into the general fund and legislators divide it up, but some think the money is being spent in the wrong places.

Gary McMullen, spokesperson for the American Cancer Society, says while the programs it goes toward may be worthy, they need to find the money elsewhere. McMullen says the money was dedicated to prevention and that's where it should be.

According to the American Cancer Society, Michigan spends $3 billion a year on healthcare related tobacco use. Some say that amount could be drastically reduced if the settlement money was used for prevention.

Currently, a portion of the money funds the $2,500 Merit Award Scholarships.

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