BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota’s attorney general says state will receive $34 million in a decade-long dispute with tobacco companies.
It settles the dispute over enforcement of the 1998 agreement that required tobacco companies to make annual payments to states, including North Dakota, for costs associated with the health of cigarette smokers.
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says the tobacco companies have withheld part of their combined annual settlement payments, claiming the states have not enforced a tobacco control statute. Stenehjem says its forced North Dakota to devote considerable resources and money to prove it diligently enforced the law. .
The attorney general says the settlement agreement resolves all disputes concerning past annual payments, and eliminates “decades of potential litigation.” North Dakota has received more than $470 million in tobacco settlement payments.