(30 ILCS 168/5)
Findings and Purpose.
(a) Cigarette smoking presents serious public health concerns to the State
of Illinois and to the citizens of the State. The Surgeon General has
determined that smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, and other serious
diseases, and that there are
hundreds of thousands of tobacco-related deaths in the United States each year.
These diseases most often do not appear until many years after the person in
question begins smoking.
(b) Cigarette smoking also presents serious financial concerns for the State
of Illinois. Under certain health care programs, the State may have a legal
obligation to provide medical assistance to eligible persons for health
conditions associated with cigarette smoking, and those persons may have a
legal entitlement to receive such medical assistance.
(c) Under these programs, the State pays millions of dollars each year to
provide medical assistance for these persons for health conditions associated
with cigarette smoking.
(d) It is the policy of the State of Illinois that financial burdens imposed
on the State by cigarette smoking be borne by tobacco product manufacturers
rather than by the State to the extent that such manufacturers either determine
to enter into a settlement with the State or are found culpable by the courts.
(e) On November 23, 1998, leading United States tobacco product
manufacturers entered into a settlement agreement, entitled the "Master
Settlement Agreement", with the State of Illinois. The Master Settlement
Agreement obligates these manufacturers, in return for a release of past,
present, and certain future claims against them as described in the Agreement,
to pay substantial sums to the State (tied in part to their volume of sales);
to fund a national foundation devoted to the interests of public health; and to
make substantial changes in their advertising and marketing practices and
corporate culture, with the intention of reducing underage smoking.
(f) It would be contrary to the policy of the State of Illinois if tobacco
product manufacturers who determine not to enter into such a settlement could
use a resulting cost advantage to derive large, short-term profits in the
years before liability may arise without ensuring that the State will have an
eventual source of recovery from them if they
are proven to have acted culpably. It is thus in the interest of the State of
Illinois to require that such manufacturers establish a reserve fund to
guarantee a source of compensation and to prevent such manufacturers from
deriving large, short-term
profits and then becoming judgment-proof before liability may arise.
(Source: P.A. 91-41, eff. 6-30-99.)