COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — South Carolina has received a more than $86.5 million payment from a historic settlement with four U.S. cigarette manufacturers, Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office said Wednesday in a news release.
South Carolina and 45 other states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories settled claims against the tobacco companies in 1998, setting up what’s known as the Master Settlement Agreement. It is the largest financial recovery in legal history, Wilson’s office said.
Since the settlement was announced in November 1998, Wilson’s office said roughly 50 more tobacco companies have signed onto the agreement, which imposes major restrictions on advertising and marketing. It also “provides states with annual payments in perpetuity to help reimburse the states for healthcare costs and harm caused by tobacco use.”
South Carolina’s payment primarily goes to the state Department of Health and Human Services for the Medicaid program, Wilson’s office said.
Since 1998, the state has received more than $1.8 billion from the agreement, Wilson’s office said.