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First Regular Session

Sixty-first General Assembly

LLS NO. R97@0780.01 MTJ



also SENATOR Chlouber.



WHEREAS, Attorneys General from twenty­two states have engaged in litigation against the largest tobacco companies seeking reimbursement for medical expenses paid by the states in treating diseases and illnesses caused by tobacco use; and

WHEREAS, One tobacco company, Liggett Group, Inc. ("Liggett"), has settled these lawsuits for twenty­five percent of its pre­tax income over the next twenty­five years. The money is to be used to reimburse states and to finance public service advertisements warning against the health dangers of smoking; and

WHEREAS, In addition to the monetary settlement, Liggett agreed to turn over to the courts company documents that chronicle legal discussions that Liggett has had with the other four major U.S. tobacco companies; and

WHEREAS, As a further part of the settlement, Liggett made the following statement: "We at Liggett know and acknowledge that ... cigarette smoking causes health problems including lung cancer, heart and vascular disease, and emphysema. We at Liggett also know and acknowledge that ... nicotine is addictive."; and

WHEREAS, The settlement with Liggett has increased the likelihood that the other tobacco companies will also settle; and

WHEREAS, The states involved in these lawsuits are asking for large amounts of money (including requests by New York for $10 billion, Indiana for over $1 billion, and Maryland for $3 billion), with one possible global settlement being discussed calling for payments of $131 billion over fifteen years; and

WHEREAS, Many of the Attorneys General involved in this litigation have hired on a contingency fee basis private law firms that have agreed to advance all or part of the litigation costs so that these cases can be handled at minimal cost to the citizens of their states; and

WHEREAS, Colorado should participate in this litigation in order to preserve Colorado's right to be compensated for costs that Colorado taxpayers have sustained caring for diseases and illnesses caused by tobacco use; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the House of Representatives of the Sixty­first General Assembly of the State of Colorado, the Senate concurring herein:

That Attorney General Gale Norton is strongly urged to file suit against the tobacco companies named in the lawsuits filed by other states' Attorneys General, in order to participate in any recovery against the tobacco companies and in any potential global settlement between the Attorneys General and the tobacco companies.

Be It Further Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be sent to Attorney General Gale Norton and to Governor Roy Romer.