November 17, 1998
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. ---- AMERICAN SAMOA COULD GET $29 MILLION
UNDER TOBACCO SETTLEMENT
Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that under the terms of the legal settlement announced on Monday between the Attorneys General of eight states and the major American tobacco companies, American Samoa would get approximately $29 million between 1998 and 2025.
"In broad terms, under the agreement, the tobacco companies will be required to curb advertising and marketing activity, fund a $1.5 billion anti-smoking campaign, open previously secret industry documents, and disband industry trade groups. Payments to the states and territories will total $206 billion through the year 2025," said Faleomavaega.
American Samoa has the choice of becoming part of this settlement, or it can sue the tobacco companies outside of this settlement and take its chances in court. "This is a difficult decision for the American Samoa Government, as under the settlement, the local government would incur no court costs or attorneys' fees and will receive about $1 million per year over the next 28 years," noted the Congressman.
"On the other hand, if the local government sues the tobacco companies by itself or with other states outside of the settlement, it could get more money and perhaps further concessions. The disadvantages of suing outside of the settlement are the uncertainty of obtaining a judgment, inevitable legal appeals, and of course the costs of bringing such a suit. There are many factors to consider, and I am sure the Governor and Attorney General will weigh them all carefully in making their decision," concluded Faleomavaega.
If American Samoa participates in the settlement, it could get these amounts of money. The actual amounts will be adjusted for inflation and future cigarette sales.
2004-2008 $1,065,800 (per year for 5 years)
2008-2017 $1,086,952 (per year for 10 years)
2018-2025 $1,217,970 (per year for 8 years)