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America Reaches Major Anti-Smoking Milestone
Date:11/19/2008

In Decade Since the Master Settlement Agreement, Cigarette Consumption has Decreased By More than One-Fourth

WASHINGTON,Nov. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New data from the federal government show that cigarette consumption in the U.S. has decreased by an estimated 28 percent, or 135 billion cigarettes, over the past decade, which marks a major milestone in public health and tobacco control, according to the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) and the American Legacy Foundation(R) - the nation's largest public health foundation dedicated to reducing tobacco use in the U.S.

Ten years after the state Attorneys General negotiated the landmark 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with tobacco companies, cigarette consumption has continued to decline and the landscape around tobacco use has shifted significantly. With November 23, 2008 marking the anniversary of the signing, the MSA should be recognized for the enormous impact it has had on cigarette consumption, the groups said.

"This settlement continues to send a strong message to the tobacco companies: Americans won't tolerate the marketing of this deadly product to our young people," said NAAG Tobacco Committee Co-Chair and Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna. "As a direct result of the work of the nation's attorneys general, today's kids are less exposed to pro-tobacco marketing like Joe Camel. Kids who still want tobacco products face ever-increasing roadblocks to obtaining them."

The Attorneys General point out that in the years immediately prior to the states' settlement agreements with the tobacco companies, cigarette sales in the United States had reached a plateau. By contrast, the ten-year decline in cigarette sales of 28 percent since the MSA is unprecedented.

According to data from the U.S. Tobacco Tax Bureau of the U.S. Treasury, the tobacco industry sold 480.5 billion sticks
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SOURCE American Legacy Foundation
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