Policy Documents

No. 83 The States vs. The Tobacco Industry: Smoke and Assorted Mirrors (full text - pdf)

Michael E. DeBow –
June 4, 1997

Two dozen states have filed lawsuits against the tobacco industry seeking reimbursement of Medicaid and other public health monies spent on smokers. As a matter of legal policy, these suits are a bad idea and should fail. If a state government wishes to raise additional moneys to cover smoking-related health care spending, raising the cigarette tax would be a much simpler, much cheaper, and much quicker route.